Voluntary Participation in Correctional Programming and Recidivism: Does It Predict Success Upon Reentry?

Kevin Walsh, Texas A&M University - Commerce

Correctional settings offer a number of different programs designed to assist offenders reintegrate into society upon release. These programs include basic educational substance abuse, behavioral modification, life skills, vocational skills, higher education and faith-based interventions. Some of these are structured as compulsory, or as a condition of early release. Some are strictly voluntary efforts on the part of the offender. This paper is an analysis of the degree of success claimed by several voluntary programs. In particular, voluntary participants in various higher education and faith-based programs are compared with non-voluntary participants and non-participants. The comparison is primarily along standard measure of success during a three year follow up.

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Updated 05/20/2006