SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 1: Auty, K. M., Cope, A., & Liebling, A. (2017). Psychoeducational programs for reducing prison violence: A systematic review. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 33, 126–143.

Abstract: Institutional violence presents significant challenges to the accomplishment of legitimate social order in prison. This systematic review examines the effect of psychoeducational programs on violent behaviour in prison. Comprehensive searches of the empirical research literature were conducted to identify randomized and non-randomized studies carried out in the last two decades (1996–2016) that compared psychoeducational programs with treatment as usual (TAU). The content of programs was analysed and classified. The design of the studies was subject to a risk of bias analysis and quality assessment. Violent behaviour in prison was measured by institutional reports, inmate self-reports, observer ratings, or using psychometrically-valid scales. We identified 21 separate studies with considerable variations in program quality and evaluation methodology. The majority of programs adopted a cognitive behavioural or social learning approach. There was limited evidence for the efficacy of these programs, although highly-structured programs showed the most promise. Programs that aimed to integrate their treatment ethos into the institutional regime and target specific criminogenic risks also produced evidence of effectiveness in reducing institutional violence. The current evidence base does not provide a clear answer to the ‘what works’ question in reducing institutional violence. However, there is evidence that some approaches are more successful than others and this should guide future program design and evaluation.

Journal Article 2: Newton, D., Day, A., Giles, M., Wodak, J., Graffam, J., & Baldry, E. (2018). The impact of vocational education and training programs on recidivism: A systematic review of current experimental evidence. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 62, 187–207.

Abstract: Although the association between unemployment and offending is well established, relatively little is known about the impact of vocational education and training programs on re-offending, with much of the previous work in this area failing to control for, or correct, selection bias. This article reports the findings of a systematic review, which considers the findings of only those studies that have used experimental or quasi-experimental designs to evaluate vocational training and employment program outcomes for adult offenders. The analysis identifies key features, based on these studies, of those programs associated with the best outcomes and recommends selection criteria for those who are most likely to benefit from prison vocational education and training.