Offender Recitivism and Employment

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  • http://www.cor.state.pa.us/stats/lib/stats/RIRV9N3.pdf
  • Offender Recitivism and Employment

    1. 1. Does the “Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Program”(PIECP) help reduce recidivism?<br />
    2. 2. The study <br />Correctional Industries Preparing Inmates for Reentry: Recidivism & Post Release Employment.<br />Authors-Cindy J. Smith, Jennifer Bechtel, Angie Patrick, Richard R. Smith and Laura Wilson-Gentry. 2006.<br />Washington, BC: Report to the National Institute of Justice. <br />NCJRS 214608<br />
    3. 3. Some definitions <br />Inmates who are classified in the OTW category may be participating in any program (e.g. drug treatment) other than an industry one, or they may even be in an inactive status. Furthermore, due to the way in which states classify tasks, an OTW task (e.g. laundry) in one state may be considered TI in another.<br />
    4. 4. More definitions <br />TI is defined as including two types of work, one which is similar to PIECP but workers are not paid a prevailing wage and goods are not sold in the open market and the other which is institutional maintenance-related work (e.g. office support staff).<br />
    5. 5. What it is<br />The Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Program(PIECP) employs inmates in private sector jobs. <br />PIECP is different from traditional prison jobs<br />It is different because it pays a competitive wage, unlike traditional industries work that is found in most prisons. <br />
    6. 6. What’s the difference<br />A traditional industries(TI) job in a prison will usually pay a wage of something like $0.25/hour.<br />A PIECP job will pay several dollars an hour. <br />PIECP began to provide private sector jobs to inmates in 1979.<br />
    7. 7. Ashurst-Summers Act of 1935<br />Prohibited the sales of goods on the open market if they were produced in the United States’ prisons or jails<br />There is now a $10,000.00 limit on the amount of products that can be produced in the jails and sold in the open market.<br />The Bureau of Justice Assistance makes sure jails and prisons comply with the act. <br />
    8. 8. Research Questions of the study <br />Does PIECP participation increase post-release employment as compared to traditional industries (TI) work or other than work (OTW) activities? <br />Does PIECP reduce recidivism as compared to traditional industries (TI) work or other than work (OTW) activities? <br />
    9. 9. Methods of the study<br />The research was conducted by using a quasi-experimental design with matched samples consisting of a PIECP group and two comparison groups, one comprised of TI inmates and the other of OTW inmates. The authors collected agency data and looked at other characteristics that could affect outcome (e.g. family effects).<br />
    10. 10. Inmate selection <br />Site selection was performed through cluster sampling, and five (unnamed) states were chosen as a result. Criteria for selection included the number of workers in PIECP programs, and states that were PIECP certified prior to 1996 and had the highest worker numbers were selected. In order to ensure nationwide representation (e.g. region, rural vs. urban), other factors, such as a state’s willingness to participate and the availability of data, were considered.<br />
    11. 11. Inmate categorization<br />1) Those inmates with the defined matching characteristics who participated in PIECP at least one day and were released between January of 1996 and June of 2001. 2) Those also with the defined matching characteristics not defined as PIECP participants but defined as TI participants during the same period. 3) Inmates during the defined time period and with the appropriate matching characteristics who were neither PIECP nor TI and not excluded from consideration because of administrative segregation, illness or incapacity. 4) All other inmates not meeting the matching characteristics.<br />
    12. 12. Limitations of the study<br />Limitations of the research include possible self-selection effects for PIECP and the inclusion of offenders who had participated in PIECP for even a very short period of time (inclusion of subjects receiving very little of the intervention being studied can often suppress the measured treatment effect of the intervention). Additionally, PIECP releases may have benefited by an additive effect <br /> (e.g. participation in TI in addition to PIECP), but a determination could not be made based on the available data.<br />
    13. 13. Limitations<br />Second, the generalizability of the findings can only be applied to those inmates who would be eligible for PIECP. It is also cautioned that generalizing results to include all TIs or OTWs is not recommended since, for purposes of this study, TIs and OTWs were selected for the comparison sample because they would likely be hired by the PIECP. Lastly, “creaming,” the practice of selecting inmates who would most likely be successful despite prison programming, was a possible concern. However, those inmates selected for PIECP and for TI or OTW were matched by characteristics in order to minimize any effects.<br />
    14. 14. PIECP numbers<br />More than 70,000 inmates—an average of 2,500 per year—have participated in PIECP since the program’s inception. By the end of 2005, 6,555 offenders were employed in the program. Although this number reflects a 285 percent increase in PIECP positions in the past decade, it represents only a small fraction of the total number of inmates in our Nation’s State prisons and local jails.<br />
    15. 15. PIECP and effectiveness<br />PIECP programs have remained unevaluated for effectiveness <br />Despite an absence of a national evaluation, statistics show that from 1995-2005, inmates have returned (e.g. room and board, taxes, family support, victims’ compensation) $162.3 million of the approximate $276.5 million in earnings as a result of PIECP <br />
    16. 16. Distributions of PIECP Wages <br />
    17. 17. PIECP participation<br />Nearly 49 percent of PIECP participants were employed continuously for more than 1 year, whereas 40.4 percent of the offenders in TI and 38.5 percent of the offenders in OTW programs were continuously employed for that length of time.<br />
    18. 18. PIECP’s correlation with job rate of released offenders<br />Examining wages earned by the participants after they were released, the researchers found that the PIECP group earned more than the TI and OTW groups. Of all the releases, however, 55 percent did not earn wages equal to a full-time job at the Federal minimum wage. Because the data available to the researchers reported total earnings only and not the number of hours worked, it was impossible to determine whether this was because the releases were: (1) working part-time, (2) working intermittently, or (3) earning less than the Federal minimum wage.<br />
    19. 19. Recidivism<br />The researchers measured recidivism rates for all three groups using the traditional yardsticks: new arrest, conviction, and incarceration. The results showed that PIECP releases had lower rates of re-arrest, conviction, and incarceration than offenders who were in the TI or the OTW groups.<br />
    20. 20. Policy recommendations<br />Based on this study’s suggestion that work plays a vital role in successful offender reentry, a policy recommendation would be to “increase the number of private industry partnerships with the appropriate program monitoring and continued evaluation.”<br />
    21. 21. Recidivism<br />Looking at conviction and re-incarceration rates, the researchers found that 77 percent of PIECP participants were conviction free during the follow-up periods, compared to 73 percent of the OTW group. Ninety-three percent of PIECP participants remained incarceration free during the follow-up periods, compared to 89 percent of the OTW participants.<br />
    22. 22. PIECP-An under used option?<br />The research suggests that PIECP has been successful. Inmate PIECP wages benefit inmates, taxpayers, victims, families, and States. PIECP participants also acquire post release jobs more quickly, retain these jobs longer, and return to the criminal justice system less frequently and at a lower rate than inmates who worked in traditional industries or engaged in other-than-work activities. These findings suggest that PIECP is an underutilized rehabilitation option and that additional efforts to increase the number of PIECP jobs could have an important impact on the Nation’s prison and jail populations.<br />
    23. 23. Theoretical perspective and analysis-The Learning Theory<br />The first theoretical perspective I would cite would be Gabriel Tarde’s Learning Theory.<br />Tarde’s theory states that criminals learn how to be criminals. My analysis of this theory would lead me to believe that criminal behavior can then be un-learned. This is, in part, what the PIECP program is about. <br />
    24. 24. The Learning Theory and PIECP<br />While prisoners are in jail for a wrong, they are going to be surrounded be other criminals. <br />Criminal behavior can be stopped at this point if the perpetrator wants to change. <br />Criminals often prefect their criminal skills while in jail. They believe that once they get out they will be better at concealing their crime and not get caught again. <br />
    25. 25. I think the Learning Theory, in this context, is being used in reverse. The PIECP program distracts the inmates with a constructive option, so they don’t feel the need to depend on criminal activity for financial gain. <br />
    26. 26. Theoretical perspective and analysis-Peacemaking Criminology<br />This theory believes that crime is suffering, if people are not suffering, there will be less crime<br />The emphasis is on the transformation of human being<br />Hal Pepinsky, a peacemaking criminologist, would say that people must change themselves before they can change the world. <br />
    27. 27. Peacemaking Criminology and PIECP<br />PIECP tries to transform the inmates into people who will re-enter society and not re-offend. <br />This program is basically telling the inmates that they have to change themselves before they can change the world in which they live. If they don’t change themselves as criminals, they will continue to live in a world where being in jail for the rest of their lives is a real possibility. <br />

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