Minnesota Cognitive-Behavioral Network

About the 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.

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.

Mission & Values

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.

Contact Information

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

Shannon Olean
EBP Coordinator
Dakota County Community Corrections
1 Mendota Road West
West St. Paul, MN 55118


Nicole Knutson

EBP Coordinator
Dakota County Community Corrections
1 Mendota Road West
West St. Paul, MN 55118