The Relative Importance of Selected Variables on the Employment Consistency of Virginia Ex-Offenders

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Virginia Tech


To decrease the steady rise in the prison population, we must deter ex-offenders from re-offending and recidivating, once they have been released. For ex-offenders, finding employment is critical to successful post-release re-integration which can help reduce the chances of them recidivating. Ex-offenders who are consistent in their employment patterns are less likely to return to a life of crime. This study investigated the relative importance and significance of 11 selected variables on four separate levels of employment consistency. The selected variables were chosen based on what has been identified in the literature as effecting employment patterns of ex-offenders and the general population, and what data was reliable and available. The study group consisted of 2,314 male Virginia ex-offenders released in fiscal year 2001. The results revealed that the variables of time served, career and technical education program completions, educational level, age at release, race, and being convicted of a violent offense were positive predictors of employment consistency. On the other hand, having a record of minor infractions and being a repeat offender were associated with decreasing employment consistency in the analysis. The findings of the study suggest that it is important for offenders to make changes in the ways they think and their attitudes. This can be accomplished by taking advantage of opportunities in prison to participate in rehabilitative services and educational programs. In addition, as offenders get older they tend to abandon criminal ways of thinking, and once released they are more apt to stay employed. Furthermore, the influence of the race variable did not affect the study group of ex-offenders as anticipated.



recidivism, consistent employment, career and technical education in prison, ex-offender race, negative behavior, ex-offender attitudes, ex-offenders, employment consistency, employment