Skip to main content

Correctional Industries Offenders Less Likely to Commit New Crimes

May 28, 2016

By Rachel Friederich

DOC Communications

Key Findings informational document Figure 2 All Sources of Legal Income, informational chart

Key Findings and All Sources of Legal Income information

Offenders who hold Correctional Industries, (CI) jobs while in prison are significantly less likely to commit new crimes, according to a recent Washington State University, (WSU) report.

The evaluation, completed in December 2015, found that offenders who participated in CI jobs during their incarceration were convicted of new offenses at a lower rate than offenders who did not participate in CI jobs, 35 percent compared to 43 percent.

“Correctional Industries is very excited about the results of the WSU study,” said Danielle Armbruster, Assistant Secretary for CI. “The study is further confirmation that the work Correctional Industries does, the role we play in reentry, has a significant impact on the lives of the offenders.”

The study compared statistically similar groups of offenders who were eligible for CI jobs in Washington Department of Corrections prisons. Researchers collected data from a total of 1,330 offenders. Of those, 703 had CI jobs for at least 30 days of their incarceration and 627 offenders did not participate in CI jobs while incarcerated. All the offenders were released from prison between 2010 and 2012.

The evaluation also found offenders working a CI job were significantly less likely to commit a violent infraction while working compared to other offenders. It also found offenders who worked in CI jobs were significantly more likely to complete a program receiving a certificate than those who did not.

CI offers offender work training programs at various prisons throughout the state of Washington. The programs are designed to develop offenders’ marketable job skills, instill and promote positive work ethics, and reduce taxpayer cost of incarceration. Types of CI programs that are offered include Braille transcription, computer aided design (CAD) services, food service operations, furniture and metal manufacturing, and textile production.

The evaluation also found offenders who had worked within CI during their incarcerations were significantly more likely to have a legitimate source of income and were likely to earn higher wages after release than those who did have participate in CI jobs.