Most recidivism research focuses on characteristics of the offender to determine the likelihood of repeat criminal activity. University of Cincinnati researchers are presenting recidivism research that instead looks at success factors of those residential programs (e.g. halfway houses) most likely to reduce recidivism.
The Ohio residential correctional programs -- halfway houses and community-based correctional facilities -- that are most successful at reducing recidivism among offenders enjoy an impressive track record.
An offender participating in the state's most successful programs is 50 percent less likely to engage in criminal activity in the two-year period following release vs. offenders who receive no guidance or services. In contrast, the least successful of these programs actually increased the chances of criminal recidivism. The least successful programs increased recidivism rates among offenders by 32 percent in comparison to recidivism rates among offenders receiving no follow-up guidance or services.
That's according to University of Cincinnati criminal justice research to be presented July 17-23 at the 32nd International Congress on Law and Mental Health at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany. That research was carried out by Paula Smith, UC assistant professor of criminal justice; Edward Latessa, professor and director of UC's School of Criminal Justice; Lori Brusman-Lovins, UC research associate of criminal justice; and Matt Makarios, assistant professor of criminal justice at the University of Wisconsin-Park Side.
Their research, "The Importance of Correctional Program Characteristics and Their Relationship to Offender Outcomes," focused on 64 residential correctional programs in Ohio -- 44 halfway houses and 20 community-based correctional facilities -- involving 20,000 adult offenders. The three-year research project was sponsored by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.
The purpose of the research is to assist in designing more effective correctional programs.
Program Characteristics That Lead to Success
While some variation in success rates can be attributed to the individuals enrolled in those programs, the three-year UC study found five program elements that were key to successful outcomes.
UC's Latessa and Research Associate Brian Lovins will also make a panel presentation.
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