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Evaluation of prison based Industry Skills Centre

This project analysed both qualitative data obtained from stakeholder interviews, and quantitative data available from the Department of Justice/Corrections Victoria (CV). A case study approach was used to analyse available data from each site. This allowed assessment of program implementation at each site and comparison of outcomes between sites. Cross-comparison allowed identification of commonalities and differences in context, and enabled identification of variation and the special needs of sub-populations within the samples.

Qualitative data was analysed thematically, as relevant to the focus of the research.

Analytical techniques for quantitative data was finalised during stage 1, after CV data had been sighted and was developed to maximise utility, quality, completeness and comparability.

For the eight prisons, the evaluation focused on:

  • Good practice
  • Alignment of the Industry Skills Centre (ISC) program with prison education and training
  • Alignment of prison work with industry skills
  • Prisoner eligibility for the ISC program
  • Links with the Offender Management Framework
  • Links with employers
  • Evidence of on-the-job training

For six prisons (excluding the two female prisons), the evaluation examined:

  • Positive post release employment and training outcomes (in jobs and in further study)
  • Cost benefit/effectiveness (annualised) of the ISCs including benefits such as reduced recidivism resulting in, for example, lower incarceration costs and costs of the ISC program in terms of staffing and fixed and variable costs.

Funding agency

Department of Justice, Victoria

Project duration

2013-2014


Researchers

Dr Margaret Giles
Associate Professor Trudi Cooper
Mrs Jayne Jarvis

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