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Chattanooga Endeavors Building Bridges Program Evaluation: Outcomes Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2007
255 pages
This report describes the methodology and findings of an outcome evaluation of the Chattanooga Endeavors "Building Bridges" program, which is designed to assist ex-offenders find employment by improving their interpersonal skills, education, and employability.
The Building Bridges program has been successful in addressing employment for ex-offenders who graduate from the program; however, this increase in employment for program graduates did not translate into reduced risk of recidivism. In addition, the ex-offenders who entered the program but did not graduate were not more likely than nonparticipants to become employed. This difference had implications for recidivism, in that non-graduates were more likely to recidivate than graduates. The program is implementing five of the six common components of reentry programs, and it provides ongoing case management. It combines a number of services in a way that addresses multiple client needs simultaneously. During the core 6-week program, service provision is intensive. In addition, the program staff focused on both internal client change as well as the enhancement of employment skills. The program also has the benefit of long-term relationships with other community agencies and the criminal justice system. The evaluation used a quasi-experimental design with a comparison group in order to determine whether the program had a positive impact on recidivism and employment, as well as whether the program had an effect on successful supervision. Due to program changes, the evaluation used existing quantitative records retrospectively, allowing for an 18-24 month follow-up for all program applicants. The program study sample consisted of 1,611 participants. Data were obtained on criminal history, wage history, and supervision history. Recommendations pertain to the diversification of funding, client retention, and program staffing. Extensive exhibits and appended process evaluation report, program application form, evaluation phase 1 recording form, and evaluation on-site records review recording form

Date Published: August 1, 2007