Career and Technical Education Program's Influences on Post-Release Outcomes for Offenders in Virginia
The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of CTE [career and technical education] on time to gain employment post-release, length of employment, and average quarterly earnings among ex-offenders, as well as recidivism” (p. 1). Results and findings are presented for: sample description; the differences in post-release employment measures between CTE program participants and non-participants; the extent to which program participation affects recidivism; and the differences in employment outcomes between participants and non-participants. Program participants recidivate at a lower rate than non-participants—35.2% versus 40.7% respectively.
Correctional education’s effectiveness in improving the lives of ex-offenders has been constantly debated. Human capital theory suggests that a person’s income is greatly increased by investments in education and training. Correctional education aims to improve an ex-offender’s life post-release through investment in education. This paper describes post-release employment outcomes and recidivism rates among ex-offenders in Virginia based on their participation in career and technical education (CTE) programs. The aim of the study was to investigate the impact of CTE on time to gain employment post-release, length of employment, and average quarterly earnings among ex-offenders, as well as recidivism. Results revealed better employment outcomes and lower recidivism rates among program participants, suggesting positive influences of correctional education on post-release outcomes among ex-offenders. Further investigation is suggested to include demographics and other variables as they might have direct or indirect effects on ex-offenders’ employment outcomes and recidivism likelihood.
This is a valuable tool for supporting requests for programmatic support and additional research. The paper is brief, concise and to the point in raising key questions for states to consider in trying to advocate for funding for training and education for those in and immediately out of prison. Even as the results are fairly specifically focused, they highlight enough generally applicable (info that crosses over to other correctional education programs) positive results to encourage support and further examination.