‘Thinking for Change’

Cognitive Skills Classes

AUSTIN, Minn. — An area county is working to make sure that those who have been in trouble in the past will choose a new path for their future.

Those with Mower County Correctional Services are holding classes they call, “Thinking for Change” aimed for those who are on probation.

The three main components they focus on are identifying risky thinking, social skills and problem solving skills.

“Probation is about correcting behavior and so the cognitive skills program is about providing the skills, the tools to be successful so that they don’t repeat that same behavior,” said Probation Officer Debra Schmitt.

They are starting a specific program for women next week called “Moving On.”

“Females have different needs and their caretakers, a lot of times there’s victimization that we’re dealing with so it’s only for female offenders and then we also have a driving with care program that we offer for DWI offenders,” Schmitt said.

Those with correctional services say since starting this program in 2005 it has been the most successful in helping people make better choices.

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