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Reentry Initiatives: A Study of the Federal Workforce Development Program

NCJ Number
Federal Probation Volume: 76 Issue: 3 Dated: December 2012 Pages: 37-42
Kelley B. McNichols
Date Published
December 2012
6 pages
The methodology, findings, and recommendations are presented from an evaluation of the Federal Workforce Development Program (WFD) in the Western District of Pennsylvania.
The evaluation focused on probationer characteristics associated with and predictive of successful reentry, as well as on the involvement in the Federal WFD predictive of successful reentry for probationers. Overall, the evaluation found that the WFD, as designed and implemented, was not predictive of successful reentry. The evaluation further concludes that of all the predictor variables examined, employment was the only variable that was predictive of successful reentry. Research on a larger sample that contains more diverse demographics may lead to a better understanding of predictor variables associated with successful reentry. Suggestions include clinical assessment of the probationers and collaborative efforts among providers. Offenders identified as having either drug/alcohol histories or mental health histories should be accurately assessed for co-occurring disorders. Further research is needed on the WFD program itself. The WFD is a relatively new reentry initiative. It provides men and women under community supervision with assistance intended to increase their job readiness, including education and vocational skills. The WFD also identifies potential employers, and assists clients in obtaining full-time employment and reducing recidivism. Additional research could further explore the administration of WFD program components. Research is also needed to examine the meaningfulness of rapport between the U.S. Probation Office and the probationer. Participants in this evaluation were adults (n = 225) serving a term of post-conviction supervision under the U.S. Probation Office in the Western District of Pennsylvania. Data on the Federal probationers was collected by Community Resources Specialists and supervisors of the U.S. Probation Office. Regression analysis was used to examine the correlation of probationer characteristics and successful reentry. 1 figure, 4 tables, and 25 references