Magazine article Corrections Forum

Program Said to Reduce Recidivism 33%

Magazine article Corrections Forum

Program Said to Reduce Recidivism 33%

Article excerpt

A training program that teaches decision-making skills is reported to help inmates avoid returning to prison, according to the non-profit organization leading the effort. Media, ??-based Thresholds, which has been teaching prisoners decision-making skills for 28 years, 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 to 62 percent for other inmates, a reduction in the number of inmates returning to prison of 33 percent. (Recidivism figures are consistent with Bureau of Justice Statistics that report 67.5 percent of inmates released from state prisons in 1994 were rearrested within three years.)

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 weekIy in one-to-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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