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Parolee Success in Iowa: Individual and Treatment Effects on Recidivism

NCJ Number
David Peters, Ph.D.; Andrew Hochstetler, Ph.D.
Date Published
January 2013
29 pages
This document highlights the results of a study examining parolee success in Iowa.
This document contains information presented at the Iowa Department of Corrections (DOC) Directors Meeting in January 2013. The information contains highlights of a study examining parolee success in Iowa. The goal of the study was to determine the individual and community factors that affected recidivism rates among parolees in the State. These factors include demographic and risk propensities, treatment provisions and quality, distance to DOC and social services, and community socioeconomic contexts. Data for the study were obtained from DOC, the U.S. Census, and other sources. The study analyzed recidivism rates for 1,272 persons who were paroled or special sentenced in 2010, lived in Iowa, and were not institutionalized. The analysis found that most parolees were White middle-aged men who were born in Iowa; most parolees were high risk offenders with multiple previous convictions; and most parolees were currently in treatment, but few had actually completed treatment. The analysis also identified which factors increased and decreased the odds of recidivism both for rural and urban parolees. The findings indicate that treatment only works for urban parolees; employment matters only for urban parolees; distance to services is important for rural parolees; having dependents reduces recidivism among rural parolees, but increases it for urban parolees; traditional risk factors increase recidivism for all parolees; risks amenable to community treatment reduce recidivism for all parolees; and community factors only have a small impact on offender recidivism rates. Suggestions for future research are discussed. Tables and figures