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Corrective Training - An Evaluation

NCJ Number
W Walker; R Brown
Date Published
136 pages
This evaluation of New Zealand's 3-month sentence of corrective training for males and females between the ages of 15 and 20 indicates that most correctional personnel do not perceive it as being effective.
The primary purpose of the corrective training evaluation was to assess the effectiveness of the sentence in terms of reducing recidivism. The evaluation involves four separate research studies examining the following: trainees' demography and conviction histories, behavior during the corrective training sentence, and postrelease behavior; trainee perceptions of the sentence; prison staff perceptions of corrective training; and probation officers' reaction to corrective training. The typical trainee in a male corrective training institution would most likely be between 16 and 18 years old; have had one or more previous convictions, probably relating to burglary, theft, or car conversion; and have been involved with the Department of Social Welfare. On the basis of reoffending rates, corrective training appears no more effective than detention centers in reducing reoffending, in increasing the average interval between release and initial reconviction, or in reducing the seriousness of the offense resulting in reconviction. Fewer than 18 percent of trainees felt that corrective training would stop them from offending again. Corrective training was perceived by staff as a punitive and discipline-oriented sentence; only a small minority felt it was proving effective. Fifty-five percent of the probation officers made at least one recommendation for corrective training in presentence reports during the previous year. The postrelease reconviction rate was 71 percent within 12 months following release. Data tables and 13 references are provided. A literature review on custodial intervention strategies and its effects on delinquents is appended.