When former United States Senator Robert F. Bennett was the president and CEO of the company that is now FranklinCovey, he wrote a book titled Gaining Control: Your Key to Freedom and Success. It introduced the Reality Model, a cognitive behavioral tool based on the premise that lasting change requires beliefs to change, not just behaviors. The book was primarily intended for a corporate audience, but it attracted the attention of Carl Reddick, an Oregon parole officer.
Reddick described his job as a P.O. as one where “people come in and pretend to be good, and we pretend to believe them.” Eager to help his clients, Reddick applied the Reality Model to a training program for parolees, and he was pleased with his results. He brought this to the attention of Senator Bennett, and in 2005, Bennett and others oversaw the creation of RealVictory, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to teaching the Reality Model concepts within the criminal justice system.
Senator Bennett’s nephew, Bruce Bennett, had developed an automated cell phone coach that had shown great promise in changing criminal behavior. The younger Bennett approached Dr. David Cherrington and Dr. Stephen Bahr of Brigham Young University about the possibility of combining the Reality Model training methodologies with his cell phone coaching technology in a pilot research program to treat probationers and parolees in Utah County.
Under the direction of Dr. Stephen Bahr, Dr. David Cherrington, Dr. Bert Burraston, and Dr. Stephen Liddle, the BYU research team developed a Monthly Report Card measurement tool designed to determine pro-social behaviors in adult and juvenile participants. They then instituted random control group trials to determine whether or not these programs reduce recidivism. After over nine years of study, they have published two articles in the International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, a well-respected, peer-reviewed academic journal. They found that applying the RealVictory training and phone coach together reduced recidivism by 47% among juvenile offenders.
This program has been taught to both adults and juveniles over a period of 9+ years.