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NCJ Number
D D Clark
Date Published
15 pages
This study examined the return rate of participants in New York State's Inmate College Program.
The survey sampled all males who participated in the program during the 1986-87 academic year. Females were not included in the study because of the small number who participated in the program. The Department of Correctional Services computerized data files were used to determine the number of program participants who had been released. The cut-off date of February 28, 1990, was selected to ensure a minimum follow-up period of 12 months as of February 28, 1991. There were 986 male program participants who had been released by February 28, 1990. Of this total, 356 were successful program participants who had earned a college degree in 1987, and 630 were unsuccessful program participants who were administratively removed or had voluntarily withdrawn from the program. Neutral program participants who were still working toward the completion of degree requirements were not included in the study. Participants who had earned a degree were found to return at a significantly lower rate than participants who did not earn a degree. Of those earning a degree, 26.4 percent had been returned to custody by February 28, 1991; whereas, 281 (44.6 percent) of those participants who did not earn a degree were returned to custody. Degree-earning participants also returned at a lower rate than would be expected when compared to the overall male return rate. Findings suggest that earning a college degree while incarcerated is positively related to successful postrelease adjustment as measured by return to the department's custody. 7 tables and a list of colleges participating in the survey