Effect of public safety realignment variables on the perceived employability of former offenders: public perception of the role of type of custody and program participation [2018]

The objective of the current research was to investigate the public perceptions of conditions pertaining to employability of former offenders as it relates to custody type and use of rehabilitative programs such as vocational and life skills classes. After reading a hypothetical job description for a cashier position, participants evaluated the perceived employability for former offenders that varied by type of custody (state prison, county jail, or community-based alternative to custody) and participation in the rehabilitative programs (presence versus control). Results of the 3 × 2 between-subjects analysis revealed the effect of each variable on the overall employability measure as well as the individual components (basic skills, thinking skills, personal qualities, and perceived dangerousness of applicant). Mediational analysis also revealed how the individual components mediated the effect for custody type of former offenders on employability. Implications are discussed for how public perceptions of the variables can aid policy makers, correctional staff, and service providers in understanding the intended impact of the variables on future employment prospects of former offenders.

Jessica A. Cerda, Douglas M. Stenstrom & Mathew Curtis

Psychology, Crime & Law, 26 Sep 2018