An Outcome Evaluation of MINNCOR's EMPLOY Program
Group: Minnesota Department of Corrections
This study evaluated the effectiveness of EMPLOY, a prisoner reentry employment program, by examining recidivism and post-release employment outcomes among 464 offenders released from Minnesota prisons between 2006 and 2008. Because outcome data were collected on the 464 offenders through the end of June 2010, the average follow-up period was 28 months. Observable selection bias was minimized by using propensity score matching to create a comparison group of 232 non-participants who were not significantly different from the 232 EMPLOY offenders. Results from the Cox regression analyses revealed that participating in EMPLOY reduced the hazard ratio for recidivism by 32-63 percent. The findings further showed that EMPLOY increased the odds of gaining post-release employment by 72 percent. Although EMPLOY did not have a significant impact on hourly wage, the overall post-release wages for program participants were significantly higher because they worked a greater number of hours. The study concludes by discussing the implications of these findings.
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