Ostermann, M. & Hyatt, J.M.(2018). When frontloading backfires: Exploring the impact of outsourcing correctional interventions on mechanisms of social control. Law and Social Inquiry, 43(4), 1308-1339.
This study demonstrates the effects of frontloading rehabilitative services to parolees through third-party residential and community-based programs. Although outsourcing treatment responsibilities to contracted reentry facilities is an increasingly common feature of postrelease supervision, the role these facilities play in reentry management and recidivism outcomes remains largely unexplored. Here, several common recidivism outcomes for parolees who attended private treatment facilities upon release are compared to those of parolees who did not. We conducted Correctional Programs Checklist assessments on each treatment site to investigate whether recidivism outcomes vary by level of programmatic quality. Our findings indicate that parolees who receive frontloaded services are significantly less likely to be rearrested or reconvicted for new crimes within eighteen months of release. These findings held across levels of programmatic quality, with larger reductions observed for programs of higher quality, and align with broader emphases in community corrections on risk assessment and organizational demands for efficiency.