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But Some of Them Don't Come Back (to Prison!): Resource Deprivation and Thinking Errors as Determinants of Parole Success and Failure

NCJ Number
The Prison Journal Volume: 89 Issue: 3 Dated: September 2009 Pages: 239-264
Kristofer Bret Bucklen; Gary Zajac
Date Published
September 2009
26 pages
This article reports on a study of the causes and correlates of parole success (PS) and failure (parole violators (PVs)) in Pennsylvania.
Findings suggest that basic structural factors such as simply finding a job and a place to live are not the major reentry concerns suggested by so much of the reentry literature. These results confirm previous research indicating a link between antisocial attitudes, peer groups, and recidivism. Evidence suggests that those who violate parole have difficulties with basic life skills such as financial management. One important identified protective factor against violating parole is having a pro-social support network of peers and/or family members. The overarching theme is that there appear to be three primary factors differentiating PSs from PVs: PVs are more likely to maintain unrealistic post-release life expectations; PVs more often demonstrate antisocial attitudes, values, and beliefs; and PVs are more likely to demonstrate poor coping or problem-solving skills as characterized by impulsivity, failure to generate alternatives, failure to recognize the consequences of choices, keeping problems to oneself, and failing to take steps of avoidance. Data were collected from 542 PVs and 186 PSs who returned a mailed survey. Tables, figures, notes, and references