Objectives: We present findings from an evaluation of a large work release program in the Israeli Prison Service. The Israeli program uses an integrative therapeutic approach which combines work release with a series of other program elements. Our main question is whether this integration of multiple program elements leads to strong benefits in terms of reincarceration and re-arrests. Methods: The study uses a rich administrative database to develop a propensity score matching approach for creating matched treatment (n = 547) and control (n = 547) subjects. The prisoners in the groups are found to be similar on known characteristics after matching. MHbounds methods are used to assess the sensitivity of the results to bias. Results: Average standardized effect sizes in our study vary between.17 and.31. In general, rehabilitation outcomes observed are much larger than those reported for US evaluations of work release programs. Conclusions: Work release in Israel is not simply work release, but involves a positive social environment, a high dosage of counseling and therapy, and more general privileges for inmates including furloughs and cultural activities. We argue that our findings suggest the importance of a broader more integrative approach to work release programs to achieve enhanced success in reducing recidivism.
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© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
- Integrative treatment
- Work release