Evaluating the Use of Two-Way Interactive Video Conferencing on Offender Programming

Lawrence L. Bench, Utah Department of Corrections

Recidivistic activity by offenders released from prison remains high resulting in physical, psychological, and monetary losses to victims. Continued increases in prison populations and reductions in funding set aside for treatment programs necessitates the development of innovative approaches for offender program delivery. Funded by a grant from Technology Opportunities Program, U.S Department of Congress, the Utah Department of Corrections used two-way interactive video conferencing to broadcast the Canadian Cognitive Skills Program to offenders housed in remote correctional sites throughout the state of Utah over a one-year period of time. Program effectiveness was determined by comparing pretest and posttest results for the "Cognitive Skills Assessment Battery," and comparing multiple forms of recidivism between treatment and control groups. Suggestions are noted for the overall utility and use of this technology in delivering programming to offenders.

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Updated 05/20/2006