Moderators of Correctional Treatment Success

An Exploratory Study of Racial Differences




Georgia V. Spiropoulos, Emily J. Salisbury, Patricia Van Voorhis

International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology

July 2014





An important area in correctional rehabilitation research is to better understand how offenders differentially respond to correctional treatments. Potential treatment moderators forwarded in the literature are gender, race/ethnicity, and personality types. This exploratory study asked whether a group of parolees had demographic and personality moderators of treatment and, if so, were the moderating influences different by race? An experimental design was used to randomly assign a sample of 937 male parolees (n = 658 African American, n = 279 White) to the experimental group that received the cognitive-behavioral treatment program and the control group that did not. Discrete-time event history analysis independently tested the program-moderating effects of demographic and personality characteristics (age, prior employment status, educational attainment, marital status, social class, risk of recidivism, prior violence, IQ, reading level, cognitive maturity, personality type, residential urbanization) on recidivism for African American and White parolees. This study found that the age group and personality type of the parolees interacted with the cognitive-behavioral program in ways that created racially disparate recidivism outcomes.








Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee