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Minnesota Department of Corrections: An Outcome Evaluation of the InnerChange Freedom Initiative

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2012
3 pages
This report from the Minnesota Department of Corrections presents the results of an outcome evaluation of the State's InnerChange Freedom Initiative, a faith-based prisoner reentry program.
Key findings from the outcome evaluation of the Minnesota's InnerChange Freedom Initiative include the following: participation in the program significantly decreased the risk of reoffending overall by 26-40 percent, with rearrest rates decreasing by 26 percent, reconviction rates decreasing by 35 percent, and reincarceration rates decreasing by 40 percent; participation in the program did not have a significant effect on technical violation revocations; the beneficial recidivism outcomes resulting from the program are likely due to the continuation of mentoring support that some participants received in prison and the community; and the Initiative is a cost-effective program for the State as it is privately funded and relies heavily on volunteers. The InnerChange Freedom Initiative, first implemented in Minnesota in 2002, is a 30-month program that helps inmates successfully transition from prison back into the community through education, faith-based programming. This report presents the results of the outcome evaluation of the Initiative. Data for the evaluation were obtained by measuring recidivism outcomes for 732 offenders released from a single prison between 2003 and 2009. Of the 732 offenders, 366 had participated in the program. Multivariate statistical analyses were used to determine the effect of program participation on recidivism outcomes while controlling for risk and other causal factors. The results of the analyses suggest that the InnerChange Freedom Initiative and other faith-based correctional programs can decrease recidivism rates if they use effective correctional programming. 1 figure