U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Trends in the Effectiveness of Correctional Intervention

NCJ Number
L Genevie; E Margolies; G Muhlin
Date Published
549 pages
This study evaluates the relative effectiveness of two types of correctional intervention -- those mandated by State law and innovative programs added to the system -- on the rate of recidivism.
The research, a statistical synthesis of the public literature, encompasses 555 reports and includes information on over 10,000 groups of adult and 2,100 groups of juvenile offenders, representing more than 2 million people. The rate of recidivism for groups on probation was compared to the rate for groups on parole. Comparisons were made between the rate of recidivism among groups receiving one of the mandated alternatives to probation and parole, with the standard form of supervision used as the comparison group. Finally, the rate of recidivism for various forms of innovative intervention was compared to the rate for groups in comparable criminal justice locations that did not receive innovative treatment. Findings suggest that adult probationers and parolees return to crime at about the same rate. However, juvenile groups that were incarcerated have consistently higher rates of recidivism than groups sentenced to probation. Additionally, innovative treatment strategies showed little success; in fact, groups administered such treatment had higher rates of recidivism than those not treated. For adults who had been incarcerated, short-term resource interventions such as financial aid and job placement appeared most promising for reducing recidivism. Similar trends emerged for juveniles; both job training and work study programs were associated with lower rates of recidivism. Approximately 200 references and 400 tables are included. (Author abstract modified)