Thursday, January 18, 2007

NCJRS Abstracts II

Yesterday I started a three-day run of recent articles abstracted at NCJRS, available at their site by the NCJ number I head each abstract with. Below are a couple more and I'll finish tomorrow. Please note that these only cover the offerings of a couple of weeks so, if you're interested in these, there are more available if you've never visited before. Like I said yesterday, it's a great resource.

NCJ 216639
Avinash Singh Bhati
Studying the Effects of Incarceration on Offending Trajectories: An Information-Theoretic Approach
The Urban Institute

The use of criminal history prior to incarceration was found to be a reliable predictor of whether or not incarceration would deter reoffending within 3 years after release. Application of this model to the "real-world" dataset found that for 56 percent of the offender sample, incarceration had a deterrent effect, i.e., their postrelease rearrest pattern showed a downward departure from what would have been expected based on their criminal history before incarceration. Forty percent of the offenders conformed to the postrelease offending predicted from their criminal history before incarceration, i.e., incarceration interrupted (incapacitation) their criminal-career trajectories, but did not alter the expected normal trajectory predicted from prior criminal history. For 4 percent of offenders, incarceration increased postrelease reoffending beyond what was predicted from their criminal history. Being older at release and having a plateau of offending prior to incarceration increased the likelihood that incarceration deterred reoffending. Having more prior accumulated arrests and having a later age at first arrest were both found to decrease significantly the likelihood of incarceration's deterrent effect. Being released to supervision did not significantly deter reoffending. These findings suggest that the proposed analysis of criminal history prior to incarceration enables corrections practitioners to identify who is and is not likely to be deterred from postrelease reoffending. Recommendations for future research are offered. Dated arrest histories of a sample of approximately 38,000 prisoners released in 1994 from prisons in 15 States were used to test the research method. 31 tables, 8 figures, 56 references, and appended model estimates and sample SAS code

NCJ 216680
Clifford A. Butzin ; Daniel J. O'Connell ; Steven S. Martin ; James A. Inciardi
Effect of Drug Treatment During Work Release on New Arrests and Incarcerations
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume:34 Issue:5 Dated:September-October 2006 Pages:557 to 565

Participants in a work release TC (therapeutic community) treatment program during the transitional period between prison and the community were significantly less likely to have had a new arrest or to have returned to incarceration; and they had significantly longer times before arrest or returning to custody, even when controlling for demographic differences and differences in drug-use, employment, and criminal histories. The time before arrest was more than 50 percent longer than for those without treatment. Those with a more extensive criminal history showed particular benefits from the treatment program. Older offenders showed the most benefit from an aftercare component of work-release treatment. Both the regular work release and the work release TC were 6-month programs that included both men and women with separate secured evening quarters. In regular work release, inmates were released during the day and required to return to the dormitories each evening. The TC consisted of a "family setting" of individual chores, group responsibilities, and discipline. In addition to intensive therapeutic community treatment, clients prepared for and obtained employment in the community. The study sample was drawn from inmates classified in the Delaware correctional system as approved for work release with a recommendation for drug treatment between 1991 and 1998. The research protocol included baseline and multiple follow-up interviews, with urine testing at each interview. The most relevant items in the interviews pertained to the time to new arrest and the time to any return to custody. 3 tables and 35 references

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