The role of employment as a mediator in correctional education's impact on recidivism: A quasi-experimental study of multiple programs

Dror Walk*, Noam Haviv, Badi Hasisi, David Weisburd

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

There is ample evidence that prison-based educational programs reduce the rate of recidivism among formerly incarcerated individuals and increase their employment prospects. However, little empirical research has focused on examining the mechanism that links correctional education with these two outcomes. Moreover, the versatile programs investigated to date make it difficult to distinguish between effective and less effective programs. Using propensity score matching, we compared post-release employment and recidivism among Israeli formerly incarcerated individuals who participated in four different education programs. Findings demonstrated two patterns: participants in the 12th grade and 8th grade programs showed better outcomes in both recidivism and employment than non-participants, whereas participants in the 10th grade and 6th grade programs only showed better employment outcomes. The mediating effect of employment on recidivism in the 12th grade and 8th grade programs demonstrated the dramatic role of employment in the desistance process. Our study suggests that education programs with more direct content or skills linked to employment would increase the overall impact of education on successful reentry.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number101815
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Volume74
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Correctional education
  • Employment
  • Mediator
  • PSM
  • Recidivism

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