This 1980 study tested the hypothesis that intensive followup after job placement would significantly increase the effectiveness of employment programs for recent prison releasees.
The test included three ongoing, exemplary employment services programs: the Comprehensive Offender Resource System in Boston, Project JOVE in San Diego, and the Safer Foundation in Chicago. The 2,045 persons who participated in the field test served at least 3 months in an adult correctional facility and were released within 6 months prior to their participation in the test. They were also required to have exhibited a pattern of income-producing offenses and to have voluntarily accepted program services. An experimental group received both comprehensive employment services and 6-month followup services. A control group received only normal services. Comparison groups of program participants not placed in jobs were assessed to determine the general value of employment services. The analysis focused on participant backgrounds, program procedures, placement experiences, and recidivism outcomes. Followup services did not decrease long-term criminal recidivism; however, employment itself can be an important factor in reducing recidivism. Drug and alcohol abusers as well as habitual offenders tended to have higher recidivism rates. Older and married participants had significantly lower recidivism rates than their younger and unmarried counterparts. Tabular data, a list of project publications, and a 70-item bibliography are provided.