Magazine article Corrections Forum

Decision-Making Course Reduces Recidivism by One-Third

Magazine article Corrections Forum

Decision-Making Course Reduces Recidivism by One-Third

Article excerpt

A training program that teaches decision-making skills is helping inmates stay out of prison. Thresholds, a non-profit organization in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, has released a four-year study indicating that inmates who complete a six-step course are one-third less likely to return to incarceration.

As part of the study, Thresholds tracked inmates at George W. Hill Correctional Facility who had completed the program and were released between 1997 and 2000. The study found that the rate of recidivism was 42 percent for Thresholds participants compared with 62 percent for other inmates, a reduction of 33 percent in the number of inmates returning to prison. With the annual average cost of incarceration at more than $25,000 per inmate, it is estimated that Thresholds has saved taxpayers more than $5 million since its inception.

Inmates who participate in the program meet weekly in one-on-one and group sessions with volunteers to learn how to define their situation, set goals, evaluate options for reaching their goals, consider consequences, and use techniques to achieve their goals. …

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