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Effect of Prison-Based College Education Programs on Recidivism: Propensity Score Matching Approach

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 41 Issue: 3 Dated: May/June 2013 Pages: 196-204
Ryang Hui Kim; David Clark
Date Published
June 2013
9 pages
This study analyzed the effect of prison-based college education on recidivism rates for ex-offenders.
This study examined the effect that prison-based college education programs had on recidivism rates for ex-offenders. The study found that prison-based education effectively lowered recidivism rates for ex-offenders, but the true effective rate of reduction in recidivism was smaller due to the presence of self-selection bias. The study also found that those who completed a college-based prison education program stayed crime free longer in the community compared to ex-offenders that did not participate in a college program. These findings suggest that the use of prison-based college education programs can have a positive and long-lasting effect on reducing crime and recidivism rates among ex-offenders. Data for the study were obtained by examining release data on prisoners released by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision between calendar years 2005 and 2008. The data was analyzed to determine the degree to which ex-offenders that completed prison-based college education programs remained crime free following their release from prison, and whether certain factors affected the recidivism rates. The findings suggest that prison-based college education programs can have a positive effect towards reducing recidivism and crime rates. Policy implications are discussed. Tables, figures, notes, and references