Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2011, $225,428)
Under the mentorship of Andrew Hochstetler, Ph.D. and in collaboration with the Iowa (IA) Department of Corrections (DOC), the Principal Investigator will investigate how factors including offender characteristics, community program participation and implementation, and district-level labor market conditions affect treatment service access and recidivism among parolees. IA's reentry initiative began in 2007 with a case management system, evidence-based practices training, prerelease planning including risk/needs assessment, and quality monitoring of programs including work release facilities. The study will follow all offenders released in 2008 and 2010 for 12 months in all eight judicial/community corrections districts using the IA Justice Data Warehouse (IA Court Information System data, DOC ICON data) which records offender demographics and criminal, supervision and incarceration history. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census GIS data will be aggregated to measure district-level rurality, employment and economic indicators, and DOC data will be used to assess treatment program quality and community corrections resources. Propensity score modeling will be used to control for offender (risk/needs), program (distance), and district (employment) variables to adjust for selection bias in receiving treatment relevant to need. That adjustment is incorporated into the model estimating the effects of service access on recidivism given offender, program, and district variables; hierarchical linear modeling is used to accommodate variation across districts, and multinomial logistic or probit regression is used to estimate outcome probabilities. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with a convenience sample of about three parole and community corrections representatives from each district to collect information on practices and policies and to aid interpretation of preliminary findings. In addition to the data and written deliverables required by NIJ, anticipated work products include articles in practitioner and research publications, local stakeholder briefings, a videotaped presentation, and professional conference presentations.