Preparing inmates for community re-entry: An employment preparation intervention

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Title: Preparing inmates for community re-entry: An employment preparation intervention
Author: Medlock, Erica Leigh, 1979-
Abstract: The purpose of this dissertation study was to adapt, deliver, and experimentally test the effectiveness of a research-based, employment-focused group counseling intervention (OPTIONS) that was designed to improve male inmates' ability to secure employment upon release from prison. The intervention curriculum and study were modeled after similar interventions with battered (Chronister & McWhirter, 2006) and incarcerated women (Chartrand & Rose, 1996). The OPTIONS program was grounded in Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT; Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1994, 2000) and comprised of all critical intervention components identified as contributing to positive career intervention outcomes (Brown & Krane, 2000). In addition, the OPTIONS intervention consisted of 5 weekly group sessions, which lasted 120 minutes, and each group was comprised of 6-7 male inmates. The intervention focused on various aspects of the job preparation process such as identifying necessary skills, obtaining information about different types of jobs, practicing for job interviews, and learning how to utilize social support. Study participants included 77 (n = 38 treatment, n = 39 control) adult male inmates housed at the Oregon Department of Corrections medium security release facility, the Oregon State Correctional Institute (OSCI) in Salem, OR. This study utilized a randomized block design, with between subjects and within subjects measurements at pretest, posttest, and one month follow-up. Participants were blocked based upon age and release date, and then randomly assigned to a wait-list treatment as usual control group or the OPTIONS treatment intervention group. Outcomes measured were job search self-efficacy (Career Search Self-Efficacy Scale, Solberg, Good, & Nord, 1994), perceived problem solving ability (Problem Solving Inventory, Heppner, 1988), and hopefulness (Hope Scale, Snyder et al., 1991). Data were analyzed using 2 (experimental group) x 2 (time) analyses of variance (ANOVAs). Results indicated that participants in the OPTIONS treatment intervention had higher career-search self-efficacy, problem solving, and hopefulness scores at posttest and follow-up than participants in the treatment as usual control group. This dissertation study was the first time a manualized, theory based employment preparation treatment intervention was adapted specifically for inmates preparing to release back to the community.
Description: xi, 87 p. A print copy of this thesis is available through the UO Libraries. Search the library catalog for the location and call number.
Date: 2009-09

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