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NCJ Number: 164904 Find in a Library
Title: Using Recidivism to Evaluate Effectiveness in Prison Education Programs
Journal: Journal of Correctional Education  Volume:47  Issue:2  Dated:(June 1996)  Pages:74-85
Author(s): S Duguid; C Hawkey; R Pawson
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 12
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using a Canadian correctional education program as an example, this article argues for the political necessity, theoretical appropriateness, and methodological practicality of using recidivism as a measure of effectiveness for prison education programs.
Abstract: Using the experience of a current research project based in Canada and England, the authors explore issues of curriculum and teaching techniques, the complexity of predicting behavior, the utility and limitations of case studies, and "scientific realist" evaluation methodology. In popular and political imagination the demonstration of effectiveness in prison programs means lowering the recidivism rate. These increasing pressures for tangible results, when coupled with a renewed interest in citizenship education, in balancing rights with responsibility, and with including an ethical and moral dimension in concepts of education, could mean an increasing role for prison education programs. This will only happen, however, if such programs can show their effectiveness. The research methodology outlined in this paper can provide a means of demonstrating effectiveness while improving the practice of prison education programs. The scientific realist approach will inform education program administrators about the inner workings of their programs and about which kinds of efforts, teaching methods, and curricula are most effective with specific types of students. The case made in this article is not for a specific type of prison education but rather for an evaluative methodology that will enable prison educators to assess what works in their programs, for whom it works, and why. 21 footnotes and 1 table
Main Term(s): Corrections effectiveness
Index Term(s): Canada; Correctional education programs; Evaluation measures; Foreign correctional systems; Recidivism
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