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RAND Corporation Proposal to Evaluate and Improve Educational Methods for Incarcerated Adults and Juveniles

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $2,463,635)

The Second Chance Act Program to Evaluate and Improve Educational Methods for Incarcerated Adults and Juveniles is designed to assess current methods and make recommendations for improvements to academic and vocational education for offenders in prison, jails and juvenile facilities. This Program furthers the Department of Justice commitment to providing services and programs to help facilitate the successful integration of offenders as they return to their communities.

This Program is not requiring an evaluation of re-entry programs, but instead enlisting the support of a grantee agency or organization to survey research on existing promising and evidence-based practices. The grantee agency or organization will make recommendations to the Office of Justice Programs' Bureau of Justice Assistance (OJP/BJA) regarding best practices, gaps in evidence-based programs, and future research needs.

The Rand Corporation will utilize its FY 2010 Second Chance Act award funds in the amount of $2,463,635 to complete an evaluation of the educational methods for incarcerated adults and juveniles as well as to provide and widely disseminate research-based guidance to improve programming and outcomes. The Rand Corporation proposes a multi-stage study that involves six main tasks. These tasks will be overseen by a Steering Committee of nationally recognized Correctional Educational (CE)leaders.

Specifically, Rand will 1)conduct an expansive search of current CE programs through web-based surveys, telephone interviews, and focus groups of CE practioners, state CE directors for both adults and juveniles, and CE directors for jails and Federal prisons; 2)conduct a systematic literature search by using online databases and by contacting researchers for unpublished research studies; 3)bring together teams of subject-matter experts (SMEs)to conduct a literature review and systematic review of CE programs using the Department of Education's "What Works Clearinghouse" mehtodology to rate current program effectiveness in four domains: academics, vocational training, re-entry/life skills, and juvenile CE; 4) conduct meta-analyses of CE programs to identify programs and program components associated with positive outcomes; 5) collaborate with a working group of state CE directors to develop a Promising Practices in Correctional Education Clearinghouse website to provide information and research-based recommendations to practitioners, policymakers, and other decisionmakers; and 6)visit CE programs identifed as effective and innovative to supplement the analyses and gain a more in-depth understanding of best/promising practices, and how they could be replicated with diverse populations and taken to scale.


Date Created: September 14, 2010