Pilot Evaluation of a Conservation Corps Program for Young Adults

Education and employment programs may be effective at reducing problem behaviors among at-risk young adults. This pilot study evaluated whether participants in a Conservation Corps program (N = 100) showed changes in antisocial behavior, gang membership, and substance use during the program. Partici...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:International journal of offender therapy and comparative criminology
Main Author: Sayegh, Caitlin S. (Author)
Contributors: Huey, Stanley J. (Author); Schneiderman, Janet U.
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Published: 2019
In:International journal of offender therapy and comparative criminology
Year: 2019, Volume: 63, Issue: 12, Pages: 2194-2212
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
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520 |a Education and employment programs may be effective at reducing problem behaviors among at-risk young adults. This pilot study evaluated whether participants in a Conservation Corps program (N = 100) showed changes in antisocial behavior, gang membership, and substance use during the program. Participants were young adults between 18 and 24 years who were predominantly male (60%) and ethnic minority (62% Latino; 31% African American). Over the course of the 22-week program, participants showed significant decreases in self-reported antisocial behavior and gang involvement, and approximately 28% earned a high school diploma. However, only 61% completed the program, and subgroup analyses suggested that decreased gang membership and antisocial behaviors were mostly driven by program completers. These limited pilot results suggest that the Conservation Corps offers vulnerable young adults opportunities for education advancement and a possible pathway to criminal desistance. However, education and employment programs should make retention a priority. 
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