Reintegration Program Dropout Rates: A Process and Outcome Evaluation of a Community Program

Shela Van Ness, University of Tennessee - Chattanooga
Martin H. Nelson, University of Tennessee - Chattanooga

ABSTRACT
There is a severe shortage of program space for the thousands of adult offenders released from prisons in the United States, who need support, guidance and training to enter the job market, manage income, re-establish family relationships and find suitable housing. This study examines a community reintegration program which experiences a high rate of program dropouts to understand why clients leave. All former participant are included in the study (N=500 cases). Case records, a mail survey and telephone interviews are conducted to test hypotheses drawn from strain, social learning and social bonding theories. Findings are then analyzed in relation to theoretical explanations, and recommendations are made modifications to reduce dropout rates.

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Updated 05/20/2006