Common Questions

Some common questions people have about PERT Prevention.

General Questions

What does PERT stand for?

PERT stands for the Program for the Encouragement of Responsible Thinking.

What is the Responsible Thinking Model?

We use a Model of Responsible Thinking as the foundation of our program. Our experience has been that for many offenses- theft, vandalism, disorderly conduct, trespassing, curfew violations, and others- there is overlap in the irresponsible thinking and decision-making that led to the offense. The Responsible Thinking Model helps each individual recognize how being aware of his thoughts and feelings, options, goals, and consequences ultimately will lead to responsible behavior. As the presentation unfolds, we expand the discussion to include how people can be responsible in all aspects of their life.

Do I have to be referred by the court?

No. While most people are court-referred, we’ve received an increasing number of referrals prior to the first court appearance. Why? Attorneys have advised their clients to complete PERT ahead of time to demonstrate their commitment to behavior change. Often, the court then allows the PERT class to serve as the main requirement in sentencing. Your attorney can tell you if this is an option.

Who can benefit from this class?

Our experience with PERT classes since 1980 has taught us that the most important shared feature of participants was that they had made choices to act irresponsibly. Therefore, appropriate referrals include theft, vandalism, disorderly conduct, trespassing, tampering with a motor vehicle, driving offenses, underage possession, and other misdemeanor offenses. Some jurisdictions refer the majority of their misdemeanor offenses, including people whose infractions were prompted by anger, impulsivity, or immaturity (think of college pranks growing out of control). Other counties refer primarily shoplifting and theft offenses. If an individual can benefit from examining his/her behavior, PERT should be considered as an option.

Who is inappropriate to refer to the program ?

If the individual clearly needs a more intensive program (versus a one-time PERT workshop), court personnel should consider other options.

What is the cost of the online class?

The cost of the online class is $60.00

Online Class Questions

Can I take the class on-line?

Some counties and cities that refer to PERT require that the class be taken in person, although they will occasionally allow someone to take the online class instead. Other courts freely allow the online class. Please contact PERT if you have any questions.


We highly recommend that you complete the online program a week before any court deadline or appearance. This allows time to "fix" any technical problems.


PERT may contact you within two days to confirm (with simple questions) that you completed the course. DO NOT ALLOW SOMEONE ELSE TO TAKE THE COURSE FOR YOU. If it is determined that you did not take the course yourself, the court will be notified.

Help! I finished the course but I did not print my certificate. What can I do?

If you have lost your certificate, or you were unable to print it, send an e-mail to PERT will make arrangements to either send you a certificate or contact your referring county to provide documentation of completion.

Do I still need to appear in court after completing the online class?

Be sure to attend whatever court appearances and responsibilities that remain for you. PERT does not have information about this - it is an agreement between you and the court (or program). Many counties will want you to complete PERT and then appear in court with your certificate.

Misc. Questions


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