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31 J. Offender Rehab. 1 (2000)

handle is hein.journals/wjor31 and id is 1 raw text is: 



Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, Vol. 31 (1/2), 2000. Pp. 1-41.
©  2000 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.







Effectiveness of Vocational Education

and   Employment Programs for Adult Offenders:

A   Methodology-Based Analysis

of  the  Literature




JEFFREY A. BOUFFARD
University of Maryland

DORIS LAYTON MACKENZIE
University of Maryland

LAURA J. HICKMAN
University of Maryland


ABSTRACT A number of jurisdictions have adopted vocational   education
and  employment programs intended, among other aims, to reduce recidivism
among   adult correctional populations. Because of the well-established links
between  low educational attainment, unemployment and crime, these pro-
grams  do seem to target a risk factor for recidivism. Whether, in fact, they are
effective in reducing future offending behavior is still open to question. This
review assesses the empirical status of the effectiveness of vocational educa-
tion and employment programs by drawing conclusions based upon systemat-
ic rankings of methodological rigor of individual program evaluations. Evalu-
ation research in vocational education/job training, community employment,
and correctional industries program areas was assessed. Based upon rankings
of methodological rigor and specific decision criteria for assessing overall
empirical support for program effectiveness, several types were identified as
generally successful at reducing offender recidivism, including vocational
education, multi-component correctional industry, and community employ-

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