RECIDIVISM AND EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the effects of educational programs designed for inmates on recidivism. To this end, the paper examines various kinds of programs including: adult basic education programs; vocational programs; psychoeducational programs; and college level programs. Following an examination of the general effectiveness of these programs with respect to recidivism, the paper develops a set of conclusions regarding; a) the relationship between recidivism and the successful completion of educational programs; and b) the type of programs that appear to be particularly well-suited to the transitory nature of the jail population.
Recidivism and Adult Basic Education Programs
One of the more established findings in the recidivism literature is that inmates are far more likely to recidivate if their educational skills are low. For example, it has been found that for both incarcerated adolescents and young adults' recidivism rates can be predicted by several factors, one of which is deficits in basic skills, especially math skills.
Other predictors of recidivism include: age of first offense, length of incarceration, gang affiliation, type of crime committed and the existence of a special education background (Katsiyannis & Archwamety, 1997). Moreover, even among probationers, studies have shown that those without a high school education or even a GED have at least double the rearrest rates of those with a high school education or GED (Walsh, 1985).
Based on findings such as the foregoing, many adult basic education programs have been developed, implemented and evaluated in order to determine their effects on the recidivism rates of incarcerated offenders. One such program is the Real Opportunities Behind Bars for Employment Program (ROBBE) developed to improve the educational skills of jailed inmates; this is a relatively well-known program that was originally ...