Of the eight programs examined in a new article, “Ex-Offender Job Placement Programs Do No Reduce Recidivism”, in the American Corrections Association’s Journal, Corrections Today, two were found to make the problem worse.
This article has also been added to our rehabilitation evaluation post.
An excerpt from the article.
“Ex-offender job placement interventions (e.g., job-readiness classes, job training, supported work, job placement, transitional employment, job clubs) are not evidence-based in reducing recidivism. This assertion seems to be counter-intuitive, and certainly conflicts with popular belief, as well as the expansion of these programs. It also appears to contradict what the research tells us about the link between employment and crime desistence. Nonetheless, the accumulation of evidence during the past half century indicates that exoffender job placement programs are not effective in reducing recidivism…
“The Jobs Training and Partnership Act (JPTA) evaluation. Next, the JPTA evaluation took place in1985. In this study, young adults with arrest records were randomly assigned to treatment and control groups. Treatment group interventions included job-readiness, vocational exploration, job shadowing and other similar services. After 21 months, no difference was found between treatment and control group rearrests. For those followed for three years, individuals who received job-related services recidivated at a slightly higher rate than those receiving no assistance.
“The Opportunity to Succeed (OPTS) program. OPTS, initiated in1994, was a demonstration program designed to deliver comprehensive services, including job placement assistance, for reentering criminally involved individuals with substance use disorders. The goal of the intervention was to reduce substance use relapse and recidivism. The evaluation, funded by the National Institute of Justice, included random assignment to OPTS or a control group. Rearrest was measured both by self report and official records. Sadly,again, no significant difference was found between the two groups. However, OPTS participants did have a higher rate of technical violations. (pp. 1-2)”