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Identifying Collateral Effects of Offender Reentry Programming Through Evaluative Fieldwork

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Abstract

The transfer of offender supervision from prisons to community corrections has prioritized the implementation of reentry programming and outcome evaluation oriented toward impact specification and evidence based practices discovery. Similar to rehabilitation research, generally, reentry scholarship tends toward the statistical documentation of recidivism and related public safety indicators while under-utilizing qualitative techniques. This study reports the qualitative methods and findings from a mixed methods evaluation of a national model county reentry program for offenders with co-occurring disorders. Observation of treatment services, in-depth interviews with jail administrators and services providers, and focus group interviews with a sample of treatment group participants evidenced collateral benefits of programming. Discussion centers on treatment program implications and the value of mixed methods for justice program evaluation.

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Correspondence to J. Mitchell Miller.

Appendices

Appendix A: ACT Provider Interview Schedule

Administrators :

  • Ideological agreement with the program and its objectives

  • Purpose of treatment program

  • Specific goals for the program

  • Commitment of the ACSO to achieve these goals

  • Prioritization of the program within the facility

  • Implementation of program – continuity across staff, effectiveness for residents

  • Training of staff

  • Barriers to delivery of services

  • Modifications needed

Staff :

  • Training history

  • Credentials and past experience with treatment delivery

  • Intake/Initial assessments of inmates

  • Resources Availability

  • Barriers to effective implementation of the program

  • Development of rapport with inmates

  • Utility of the curriculum

  • Rule violations and repercussions

  • Perceptions of effectiveness

  • Recommendations for change in program

Qualitative Interview Schedule: Program Participants

Topic Area

Specific Items

Transfer/Placement

• Facility orientation – information

• Program orientation – information

• Transfer status – information; selection process

• Appropriateness of placement (self and others)

Needs Assessment

• Treatment Plans

• Timeline for conducting this assessment and developing a plan

• Meeting with a counselor

Program Components

• Counseling

 ○ Individual

 ○ Group

• Curriculum assessment

• Specific topics/skills

 ○ Consequences of drinking

 ○ Identification and elimination of triggering mechanisms

 ○ Explore feelings or emotions

 ○ Identification of thinking errors

• Program length of time

Counselors

• Effectiveness

• Knowledge

• Attitude

Environment

• Safety

• Services

 ○ Medical services

 ○ Availability and quality of food

 ○ Availability of supplies

• Guards

• Privileges

 ○ Access to books, TV, educational videos, etc.

 ○ Recreation time

 ○ Commissary visits and supplies

 ○ Phone access/visitation

Overall

• Attitude toward rehabilitation

• Confidence in ability to not re-offend

• Strengths of program

• Weaknesses of program

Appendix B: ACT Participant Schedule

Needs Assessment

  • Understanding of Treatment Plans

  • Timeline for conducting this assessment and developing a plan

  • Meeting with a counselor

Program Components

  • Counseling

  •  ○ Individual

  •  ○ Group

  • Curriculum assessment

  • Specific topics/skills

  • Program length of time

Counselor Performance

  • Effectiveness

  • Knowledge

  • Attitude

Participant Attitude

  • Attitude toward rehabilitation

  • Confidence in ability to not re-offend

  • Strengths of program

  • Weaknesses of program

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Miller, J.M. Identifying Collateral Effects of Offender Reentry Programming Through Evaluative Fieldwork. Am J Crim Just 39, 41–58 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12103-013-9206-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12103-013-9206-6

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