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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70496 Find in a Library
Title: Effectiveness of Voluntary and Obligatory Post-penitentiary Assistance Wth Reference to the Work of Persons Released From Prison (From Troisieme seminaire regional du CICC en Europe centrale, 1976, V 1 - Les mesures post-penales, P 171-179, Alice Parizeau, ed. - See NCJ-70486)
Author(s): D Pelka-Slugocka
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 8
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Document
Language: French
Country: Canada
Annotation: The effectiveness of Polish laws requiring postrelease aid to exconvicts who request it is assessed.
Abstract: Laws of 1969 and 1974 state that every individual released from prison has the right to assistance in finding a job or professional training, to medical assistance, and to advanced payment for getting settled before beginning work. Examination of the effects of postrelease aid to 326 Lodz residents released from prison in 1969 shows that 57.4 percent of the ex-convicts sought assistance while 42.6 percent did not. The total nonrecidivism rate for the group is 47.2 overall; that is, 79.2 percent among those who found their own work, 19.5 percent among those who did not work, and 50.3 percent among those who sought assistance. Sixty percent of the nonworking group, 42 percent of the group seeking aid, and 24 percent of the group that found work for itself are alcoholic. These findings suggest that alcoholism is a factor in recidivism and that the voluntary nature of aid restricts its usefulness in halting recidivism. For that reason, the 1974 law on pardons requires that pardoned convicts find a permanent job or their pardon will be revoked. Study of a group of 375 persons released under this law with the obligation to work indicates that stable professional activity hinders recidivism. Under threat of revocation, the nonworking group almost disappears initially, and the group working continuously for 1 to 2 years constitutes 43 percent, as compared to 22 percent in the 1969 sample. But only 15 percent of the alcoholics from the 1969 group and 19 percent of the alcoholics from the 1974 group remain working after a year. Even special assistance programs after release from prison cannot induce professional stability in alcoholics. Thus, voluntary participation in postrelease assistance can only be used for nonalcoholic releasees. Special supervision after release under the 1974 pardon law should only be applied to individuals who did not work prior to incarceration and who do not abuse alcohol. Other forms of assistance must be developed for alcoholics after their release from prison, as they are incapable of adopting stable work and life habits.
Index Term(s): Poland; Post-release programs; Program evaluation; Recidivism; Recidivists; Social reintegration
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