Cover: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Correctional Education

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Correctional Education

A Meta-Analysis of Programs That Provide Education to Incarcerated Adults

Published Aug 22, 2013

by Lois M. Davis, Robert Bozick, Jennifer L. Steele, Jessica Saunders, Jeremy N. V. Miles

Download

Download eBook for Free

Full Document

Does not include Appendixes D through G

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.8 MB Best for desktop computers.

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

ePub file 3.6 MB Best for mobile devices.

On desktop computers and some mobile devices, you may need to download an eBook reader to view ePub files. Calibre is an example of a free and open source e-book library management application.

mobi file 4.1 MB Best for Kindle 1-3.

On desktop computers and some mobile devices, you may need to download an eBook reader to view mobi files. Amazon Kindle is the most popular reader for mobi files.

Summary Only

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Appendix D

Scientific Review Data Abstraction Protocol

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.8 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Appendix E

Eligibility Status for Inclusion into the Meta-Analysis

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Appendix F

Summaries of Studies Included in the Recidivism Meta-Analysis

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Appendix G

Summaries of Studies Included in the Employment Meta-Analysis

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Appendix H

Summaries of Studies Included in the Computer-Assisted Instruction Meta-Analysis

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.6 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Purchase

Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback110 pages $22.95

Research Questions

  1. How effective are correctional education programs in reducing recidivism?
  2. How effective are correctional education programs in improving one's chances of obtaining employment upon release from prison?
  3. Is correctional education cost effective?
  4. What types of educational programs are most effective?
  5. What additional information is needed to understand the characteristics of effective programs and further build the research evidence base?

After conducting a comprehensive literature search, the authors undertook a meta-analysis to examine the association between correctional education and reductions in recidivism, improvements in employment after release from prison, and learning in math and in reading. Their findings support the premise that receiving correctional education while incarcerated reduces an individual's risk of recidivating. They also found that those receiving correctional education had improved odds of obtaining employment after release. The authors also examined the benefits of computer-assisted learning and compared the costs of prison education programs with the costs of reincarceration.

Key Findings

Correctional Education Improves Inmates' Outcomes after Release

  • Correctional education improves inmates' chances of not returning to prison.
  • Inmates who participate in correctional education programs had a 43 percent lower odds of recidivating than those who did not. This translates to a reduction in the risk of recidivating of 13 percentage points.
  • It may improve their chances of obtaining employment after release. The odds of obtaining employment post-release among inmates who participated in correctional education was 13 percent higher than the odds for those who did not participate in correctional education.
  • Inmates exposed to computer-assisted instruction learned slightly more in reading and substantially more in math in the same amount of instructional time.
  • Providing correctional education can be cost-effective when it comes to reducing recidivism.

Recommendations

  • Further studies should be undertaken to identify the characteristics of effective programs in terms of curriculum, dosage, and quality.
  • Future studies should incorporate stronger research designs.
  • Funding grants would be useful in helping further the field, by enabling correctional educators to partner with researchers and evaluators to evaluate their programs.
  • A study registry of correctional education evaluations would help develop the evidence base in the field, to inform policy and programmatic decisionmaking.

The research described in this report was sponsored by the Bureau of Justice Assistance and conducted in the Safety and Justice Program within RAND Justice, Infrastructure, and Environment.

This report is part of the RAND research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.