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
Rapidly increasing youth imprisonment and recidivism in many countries pose challenges to successful transition to adulthood. Reports from young offenders in England of how hard it will 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 took vocational courses while in prison and among those who had more frequent contacts from family members and friends. Specific policies that are consistent with our findings are vocational courses that develop skills and policies that encourage contact with family members and friends. In addition, 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.