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Successful Reentry: What Differentiates Successful and Unsuccessful Parolees?

NCJ Number
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology Volume: 54 Issue: 5 Dated: October 2010 Pages: 667-692
Stephen J. Bahr; Lish Harris; James K. Fisher; Anita Harker Armstrong
Date Published
October 2010
26 pages
This study examined the factors that determine the difference between successful and unsuccessful reentry.
In this research the authors examine the reentry of 51 parolees during the 3 years following their release from prison. The objective is to gain increased understanding of what differentiates successful parolees from those who fail. Success is defined as being discharged from parole by 3 years after release. The study examines the extent to which drug treatment, friendships, work, family bonds, and age are associated with reentry success. Contrary to expectations, it is found that closeness to mother, closeness to father, having a partner, being a parent, and education level are not associated with parole success. Those who succeed on parole are more likely to have taken a substance abuse class while in prison and on release tend to spend more time in enjoyable activities with friends. Among the employed, those that worked at least 40 hours a week are more likely to complete parole successfully. Qualitative data indicate that successful parolees had more support from family and friends and had more self-efficacy, which help them stay away from drugs and peers who use drugs. The findings are consistent with an integrated life course theory. Tables and references (Published Abstract)