How long did it last? A 10-year reconviction follow-up study of high intensity training for young offenders

Jolliffe, Darrick; Farrington, David P.; Howard, Philip
December 2013
Journal of Experimental Criminology;Dec2013, Vol. 9 Issue 4, p515
Academic Journal
Objectives: Most research has suggested that correctional boot camps are not very successful in reducing reoffending, but recent evidence has been more encouraging for programs that include significant rehabilitative components. In line with this, High Intensity Training (HIT) for offenders aged 18–21 at Thorn Cross Young Offender Institution in England was followed by a significant reduction in the number of reconvictions in a 2-year follow up. This article aims to evaluate the impact of the HIT program after 10 years. Methods: The evaluation used a quasi-experimental design in which male young offenders who received HIT were individually matched, on their risk of reconviction, to a comparison group who went to other prisons. Official reconviction data, including the prevalence, frequency, types, and costs of offenses were used as the outcome measures. Results: Offenders who received HIT had a significantly lower prevalence and frequency of reconvictions, but their superiority over the control group reduced over time (after about 4 years). However, the cumulative number of convictions that were saved increased steadily over time, from 1.35 per offender at 2 years to 3.35 per offender at 10 years. The cumulative cost savings also increased over time, and the benefit:cost ratio, based on fewer convictions, increased from 1.13 at 2 years to 3.93 at 10 years. Conclusions: The beneficial effects of the HIT program became more obvious over time. More randomized experiments and long-term follow-up research, including regular interviews, are needed to evaluate the cumulative and persisting effects of correctional interventions more accurately.


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