Online Program

Implementation and effectiveness of a decision making curriculum for incarcerated young men

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 3:10 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Jennifer R. Boyle, PhD, MS, Department of Public Health & Health Education, The College at Brockport, State University of New York, Brockport, NY
Bunny Dugo, MS, Nazareth College, Rochester, NY
Arrests among young adults ages 18-24 make up a significant proportion of all arrests and many young adults recidivate.  Decision making skills are protective against youth involvement in crime.  However, there are few cross-cultural, evidence based interventions that teach decision-making knowledge and skills to incarcerated young men.  Furthermore, there are even fewer tested interventions that address both decision-making and the influence of substance use on criminal behavior among young adults.  The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the efficacy of the decision-making curriculum, Substances and Choices. This curriculum, based on the Social Cognitive Theory and the Theory of Planned Behavior, was aimed at increasing decision-making knowledge, skills, attitudes, and self-efficacy as well as improving attitudes toward alcohol among incarcerated young men.  The five week program addressed decision-making, sexual decision-making, grief, loss, substances and choices, stress and decision-making planning.  The program was evaluated using a quasi-experimental design. Sixty-five incarcerated males (73% African American) ages 18-22 agreed to participate in the study.  Twenty-six men were assigned to the treatment group.  Both treatment and control men completed pre and post tests.  Data were analyzed using a 2-way ANCOVA with time-to-release controlled.  The curriculum, implementation and evaluation in the jail setting will be described and results of the evaluation will be presented.  The program was found to be effective at improving the decision-making skills of incarcerated young men.  The Substances and Choices curriculum is one of the few, cross-cultural, decision making curriculums for incarcerated young men with demonstrated effectiveness.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe components of an effective decision making curriculum for incarcerated young men Describe how to effectively implement a health education curriculum in a prison/jail setting Describe how to evaluate a health education curriculum in a prison/jail setting

Keyword(s): Health Promotion and Education, Prisoners Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a Masters degree in Health Education and worked as a prevention education specialist for 5 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.