This report--which is the third in a series of research publications on the results of an ongoing process evaluation of the West Virginia Offender Reentry Initiative (WVORI)--assesses whether offender prerelease services are being delivered in a manner consistent with key core correctional practices (CCP) that have been identified in research.
Generally, study results indicate that the WVORI could benefit from greater adherence to CCP, which are rooted in staff characteristics and staff-inmate relationships that result in greater reductions in reoffending. A significant proportion of inmates felt that staff had not adequately helped them to develop a release plan that could work, did not view their problems realistically, and did not assist them in putting their release plans into action. Many inmates perceived that although there was a high level of structure in the prison regimen, the quality of the interpersonal relationship with staff was poor. Further, on every measure of CCP and transitional services, the performance of work release centers was equal to or better than that of general-population institutions. Generally, inmates in work release centers viewed staff as working more energetically to generate referrals and work with community organizations on their behalf. This finding suggests that corrections administrators should consider expanding the use of work release centers as "step-down" units for offenders nearing release. In addition, reentry program planners should continue to focus on assisting offenders in finding stable employment upon release. Also, more attention should be given to staff characteristics and the techniques they use to deliver reentry services. Data for this study were obtained with a self-report questionnaire administered to 496 inmates within 90 days of possible release from custody in work release centers and general population institutions. 11 tables and 63 references
Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)
810 Seventh Street NW, Washington, DC 20531, United States
Mountain State Criminal Justice Research Services
Charleston, WV 25311, United States
United States of America