Tuesday, July 17, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, July 17, 2007

AMONG THE LATEST RESEARCH POSTED AT http://www.ncjrs.gov/. CHECK FOR OTHER ARTICLES OF INTEREST THERE AS WELL.

NCJ 218853
Dana J. Hubbard
Should We Be Targeting Self-Esteem in Treatment for Offenders: Do Gender and Race Matter in Whether Self-Esteem Matters?
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation
Volume:44 Issue:1 Dated:2006 Pages:39 to 57

This study examined differences in the effects of self-esteem on recidivism for both male and female offenders and for Black and White offenders. The study results failed to find a significant and direct association between self-esteem and arrest or incarceration for adult male and female offenders. On the other hand, interactions between race and self-esteem significantly predicted arrest. Specifically, as self-esteem increased for Blacks, regardless of gender, arrest was more likely. Even more interestingly, the findings indicated the exact opposite for Whites: as self-esteem increased for White men and women, the likelihood of arrest decreased. Thus, regardless of gender, low self-esteem appears to be a risk factor for arrest for White offenders while high self-esteem appears to be a risk factor for arrest for Black offenders. The results suggest that targeting low self-esteem for all offenders is not recommended and that risk factors may vary by group. Thus, a one-size-fits-all approach to rehabilitation may not be in the best interests of society. Future research should analyze the interaction of class and self-esteem on the likelihood of arrest. Data on 280 offenders were gathered from client files and included demographics, criminal history, and risk and need assessments. Each offender also completed a self-administered questionnaire focusing on self-esteem and recidivism. Follow-up recidivism data were also gathered through official records after offenders were in the community for a period of 15 to 34 months. Recidivism data included arrest and incarceration information. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and logistic regression models. Tables, notes, references

NCJ 218855
Eric L. Jensen; Gary E. Reed
Adult Correctional Education Programs: An Update on Current Status Based on Recent Studies
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation
Volume:44 Issue:1 Dated:2006 Pages:81 to 98

This article evaluates the research literature on adult educational programs and recidivism from the mid-1990s to the present. The evaluation found that adult offenders who participated in educational programs, such as Adult Basic Education, General Equivalency Degrees, and secondary education, were less likely to recidivate than their counterparts who did not participate in educational programming. Additionally, vocational training and postsecondary educational programs were also significantly linked to decreases in recidivism among offender participants. These findings indicate that educational programming meets the standards of “what works” in the field of offender rehabilitation. However, the authors caution that if decisionmakers want to maximize their resources for correctional programming, it will be necessary to match offenders with suitable programs and monitor the implementation and outcomes of treatment. Research methodology involved searching all relevant bibliographic sources for articles related to correctional programming that were published from 1995 through the fall of 2003. In order to select methodologically sound studies, the authors followed the principles set out by the University of Maryland. This process involved summarizing, integrating, and rating the studies according to the University of Maryland Scale for Scientific Rigor. Notes, references

NCJ 218852
Damian J. Martinez
Informal Helping Mechanisms: Conceptual Issues in Family Support of Reentry of Former Prisoners
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation
Volume:44 Issue:1 Dated:2006 Pages:23 to 37

This article reviews the current issues facing released prisoners and offers a theoretical framework for understanding the effect of family support on former prisoner reentry. The main argument is that family support is not well understood in terms of its contribution to successful reentry for former prisoners and that a theoretical framework for understanding the role of the family in prisoner reentry is important for future research. In general, the authors suggest that a social exchange theoretical framework provides a conceptual understanding for investigating the role of families in prisoner reentry. The research literature regarding the challenges facing prisoners upon release is reviewed, which outlines the barriers to appropriate housing, limited employment opportunities, transportation problems, and a lack of community support. Despite all that is known about prisoner reentry barriers, relatively little is known about how former prisoners’ families act and function upon the return of the former prisoner to the home. Some studies, however, have suggested that family support is a critical component for successful prisoner reentry. The author contends that a theoretical framework is needed to help identify and understand the role of the family in prisoner reentry. In order to fill this gap, the authors present an overview of several theoretical orientations that can contribute to this understanding, including family stress and coping theories and social exchange theory. The authors suggest that since a social exchange theoretical framework can provide a conceptual understanding for investigating the structure of identifiable exchanges and moral norms, it can thus provide a starting point for studying the role of families in prisoner reentry. Researchers can begin by asking whether a lack of family support decreases the chances of former prisoner success. References

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