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July 1983, Vol. 106, No. 7
enter the labor market
In a 1972 Monthly Labor Review article, Robert Taggart reviewed labor market strategies directed at improving the employability and reducing the recidivism of offenders and ex-offenders.1 The 10-year period following that investigation has been characterized by a continued commitment toward the manpower strategies that Taggart reviewed and the development of several new efforts aimed at facilitating the labor market readjustment of offenders. This article reviews the more recent research on labor market strategies for ex-offenders.
The labor market strategies discussed here by no means exhaust the rehabilitative approaches that have been applied to offenders. Among the less manpower oriented approaches not reviewed here are probation, a less restrictive prison environment, noninstitutional rehabilitation settings, intensive supervision of parolees, outright discharge in lieu of parole, individual counseling, group counseling, various medical therapies, and variations in the length of prison sentences. An analysis of each of these approaches found no consistent evidence to support the effectiveness of any one of them.2
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1 Robert Taggart, "Manpower programs for criminal offenders," Monthly Labor Review, August 1972, pp. 17-23. This effort represented a synopsis of his volume. The Prison of Unemployment: Manpower Program for Offenders (Baltimore, Md., The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979).
2 See Philip Cook, "The Correctional Carrot: Better Jobs for Parolees." Policy Analysis, Winter 1975, pp. 11-54: James Robison and Gerald Smith, "The Effectiveness of Correctional Programs," Crime and Delinquency, January 1971, pp. 67-80; Robert Martinson, "What Works?Questions and Answers About Prison Reform," The Public Interest, Spring 1974, pp. 22-54; and Douglas Lipton, Robert Martinson, and Judith Wilks, The Effectiveness of Correctional Treatment (New York, Praeger Publishers, 1975).
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