Hand - to - Hand Combat: Educational Programs Battle
Recidivism Rates Randall Fichte, Amanda Guerrero, Georgie Ann Weatherby

The primary focus of this research was to identify the effectiveness of education programs on reducing recidivism. This meta-analysis examined four published studies, a total of 21,113 offenders, which met the established criteria. This research assesses if the variables of age, gender or race influence the effectiveness of education programs. The criminological theories used to analyze the data were cumulative disadvantage theory, Robert Merton’s adaptation of anomie theory and Burgess and Aker’s adaptation of differential association theory. These theories will show the relationship between a positive life-changing event experienced during incarceration and the ability to remove a negative stigma of being a deviant. Also, these theories will help to understand why some social groups are more responsive to education programs than others and why some individuals continue to reoffend while others do not. The variance in data among individuals can be explained by several factors including an individual’s ability to participate in education programs and the motivating factors for participating. Those who are able to participate in the programs may be less likely to reoffend upon release due to their qualifications that enable them to participate in programs. Motivation factors for participating in educational programs include a desire to further education, mandated participation by the court due to lack of education or the early release of an individual to reward good behavior. These factors can clarify some variance in data within similar groups. Through the meta-analysis, this research was able to conclude that education programs are effective in reducing recidivism rates. The most prominent indicators of success in the programs are age of the offender and educational commitment. A younger offender has not fully assumed the criminal identity or label of deviant; therefore they are more receptive to a positive life-changing event of educational experience. In addition, the longer an individual participates in the program, the less likely they are to reoffend.

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