Staying out of trouble: what counts for young male offenders?
Lynda Clarke, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
Renata Forste, Brigham Young University
Stephen Bahr, Brigham Young University
In response to concerns about rapidly increasing numbers of young prisoners and recidivism in many countries, we interviewed young offenders in England. Prisoners’ reports of how hard it would be for them not to reoffend following release from prison were most strongly associated with the number of delinquent friends but were also significantly associated with the specificity of post-release plans, life control, and self-efficacy, net of peer influences. Offenders’ feelings of life control were stronger among those who had more frequent contacts from family members and friends and those who took vocational courses while in prison. Specific policies that are consistent with our findings are policies that encourage contact with family members and friends and vocational courses that develop skills. Also, interventions that help offenders make specific plans and increase feelings of control and self-efficacy have promise in helping released offenders successfully complete the transition from prison to the community.