The Development and Evaluation of a Life Skills Programme for Young Adult Offenders [2017]

The purpose of this research project was to develop, implement, and evaluate a Life Skills programme for young adult male long-term offenders with the aim of improving their life skills that, in turn, could enable them to adjust more effectively in the correctional environment. Experimental research was used to investigate the effectiveness of the programme. In this study, 96 literate young adult male offenders between the ages of 21 and 25 years, with long sentences, were selected randomly. The participants were assigned randomly into an experimental and a control group. The Solomon four-group design was utilized to control for the effect of pretest sensitization. The measurements of the effectiveness of the programme were conducted before the programme commenced, directly (short term) after, 3 months (medium term) after, and 6 months (long term) after. The findings indicated that the programme had limited success in equipping the offenders with the necessary skills crucial to their survival in a correctional centre. The programme did, however, have significant effects, especially on problem solving and anger management in the short and medium term. These improvements were not long lived.

Jacques Jordaan, Roelf Beukes, Karel Esterhuyse
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, Vol 62, Issue 10, 2018