Minnesota Cognitive-Behavioral Network

The Minnesota Cognitive-Behavioral Network provides Probation Officers and others working with offenders the opportunity to:

  • Exchange ideas;
  • Gain knowledge of programs, training resources, contact information and implementation ideas;
  • Offer and obtain support; and
  • Participate in the state clearinghouse of information about cognitive-behavioral program implementation and sustainability.

The Minnesota Cognitive Network held its first meeting in October of 1998 to discuss start up plans.  This was hosted by Dodge-Fillmore-Olmsted Community Corrections (DFO).  Our first official meeting was January 1999 and was hosted by Washington County Community Corrections.

We have members from community corrections departments, institutions, and community-based programs.  Anyone who is interested in or has already implemented cognitive-behavioral interventions with offenders is welcome to become part of our organization.

Our Mission:
The Minnesota Cognitive-Behavioral Network: Individuals sharing knowledge and promoting practices for effective implementation of evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral interventions for offenders.


We Value:

  • Collaboration.
  • Personal and professional growth.
  • Service, program, and system integrity.
  • Personal responsibility and accountability.
  • Restorative Justice and community involvement.
  • Diversity and dealing with people with respect and dignity.

Research has demonstrated that cognitive-behavioral interventions, effectively implemented with appropriate offenders, are successful in reducing offender recidivism.  Cognitive-behavioral interventions target specific cognitive deficits (i.e.: manipulation, impulsivity, callousness, egocentricity, lack of guilt or remorse, low frustration tolerance, blaming others, concrete thinking, poor problem solving and interpersonal skills, difficulties with anger, rigid thinking, etc.)   These interventions facilitate self-change and aid in the development of thinking skills used to cope with life situations.

Program Contacts

Cog Research

Cog Skill Policy Template 

Terminology & Definitions 

For more information regarding the Minnesota Cognitive-Behavioral Network or cognitive-behavioral programming, please feel free to contact the CogNet Chairs:

Nicole Staeheli

EBP Coordinator

Dakota County Community Corrections

1 Mendota Road West

West St. Paul, MN 55118



Kristi Diercks

Probation Officer II

Steele County Community Corrections

631 N. Cedar Ave. Suite 100

Owatonna, MN 55060



The Minnesota Cognitive Behavioral Network meets quarterly throughout the state in conjunction with the MN EVIDENCE BASED PRACTICES FORUM.

The meetings generally take 2-3 hours, depending on which sub-committees are meeting. Meetings consist of regional cog updates, training updates, dialogue and discussion, as well as a training/presentation by the EBP FORUM host as to how they are implementing EBP in their organizations. 

Benefits & Outcomes of Cognitive-Behavioral Programming

  • Improved community safety through increased supervision and client contact. Cog groups meet once or twice weekly and target specific risk factors.
  • Reduced cost to community through reduced crime and less need of expensive residential settings.
  • Research based rationale which supports this approach with offender populations.
  • Improved community collaboration through pooling of resources between private and public agencies in the delivery of services (i.e.:  Cog groups).
  • Pro-active vs. reactive approach to corrections.
  • Expectation of positive progress with clients through direct action and targeting of specific risk factors for recidivism.
  • Outcome measures which demonstrate the effectiveness of correctional programming.