The Effects of Career Development on Employment and Recidivism Among Juvenile Offenders
|Advisor(s):||John K Schmidt, PhD|
A major failure of the juvenile justice system is to provide youth with career development skills that will ensure their successful entry into the workforce and reduce recidivism. This study had two purposes, which were to first examine the impact of career development on the formation of mature attitudes and competencies for realistic career decision-making for incarcerated youthful offenders, and second to determine the likelihood of gaining employment and the probability of recidivism for this population from participation in career development. A random sample (N = 50) was selected from a population of incarcerated youth offenders, approximately half of which participated in an employment program. The Career Maturity Inventory (CMI) was administered to both groups as pre- and posttests to measure the development of mature attitudes and competencies for realistic career decision-making. Logistic regression analysis was used to test the relationship between 6-month and one-year recidivism and employment with career development training in a sample of 1500 youth assigned to an incarceration facility. The first portion of the study did not produce significant differences from the two t test analysis, however, descriptive differences were noted between the groups. Regression analyses demonstrated that youth participating in a career development program were more likely to be employed at 6 months and one year post-intervention; however, there was no difference in recidivism. While the study had mixed results, this research enriches the ability of juvenile justice officials to prepare juvenile offenders for productive lives through career development programs; thus, increases in employment rates for youthful offenders represents a return on investment for the community.
Lane Roos earned a Ph.D. in organizational psychology at Walden University in 2006. His primary area of interest is in preparing at-risk youth to enter the world of work and his doctoral dissertation measured the effects of career development programs on employment and recidivism rates among juvenile offenders. He is also a part time faculty member at Prairie View A&M University and teaches graduate courses in Counseling.
Lane currently is the Chief of Operations at American YouthWorks (AYW), a community based organization in Austin, Texas, that operates a charter school for drop out youth. AYW also builds energy efficient housing for low income families through a HUD funded YouthBuild program and operates an AmeriCorps program that works in the environmental arena. Previously, Lane was the Manager of Workforce Development Programs for the Texas Youth Commission (TYC). He was responsible for the management of the Project RIO-Y (Reintegration of Offenders – Youth) Program, a PEPNet award winning program, the Prison Industries Enhancement (PIE) and the Career and Technology Education programs. Lane also worked with many of the Workforce Development Boards in Texas to cultivate and implement workforce development initiatives at TYC facilities and in the aftercare arena.
Prior to joining TYC, Lane worked in the area of workforce development for more than 25 years. He started his career at the Gary Job Corps Center in San Marcos, Texas and has worked in a number of employment and training programs for youth.
Lane Roos has served as an at-large member of the National Youth Employment Coalition’s (NYEC) Executive Committee since September 2002. He is a board member of the National Association of Youth Serving Consultants (NAYSC) and is chairman of the board of Developmental Counseling Center Inc. (DCCI).