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A Rapid Evidence Assessment To Assess The Outcomes Of Community And Custody Delivered Vocational Training And Employment Programmes On Reoffending

Fox, Christopher and Harrison, Jordan and Hothersall, Grace and Smith, Andrew (2021) A Rapid Evidence Assessment To Assess The Outcomes Of Community And Custody Delivered Vocational Training And Employment Programmes On Reoffending. British Journal of Community Justice, 17 (1). ISSN 1475-0279

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Abstract

We undertook a Rapid Evidence Assessment to assess the outcomes of vocational training and employment programmes on reoffending. A meta-analysis of a subset of the most methodologically robust studies found that vocational training and employment programmes were associated with 9 percent fewer programme participants reoffending, when compared with nonparticipants. Studies conducted in the UK were associated with 6 percent fewer programme participants reoffending. However the expected high degree of observed statistical heterogeneity amongst the analysed studies suggests considerable variation in programme effects on recidivism outcomes. It is also possible that publication bias inherent in the reviewed studies may mean that in real terms reductions in recidivism would be marginally lower than our headline findings suggest. This is the first review of this type to combine a review of custodial and community settings, to include a meta-analysis, and to include a number of UK studies.

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