Date of Conferral





Human Services


Barbara Benoliel


The persistently high rate of repeat incarcerations poses a threat to the safety of lives and properties. The problem that led to this study was the prevailing high rate of repeat incarcerations in Nigeria, despite interventions to reduce their occurrences. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of prisoner reentry programs in reducing reincarcerations of ex-prisoners. The focus of the research questions was on whether treatment and the type (faith- or non-faith-based) made a difference in a prisoner's reincarceration status after release. The theoretical foundation was based on the transtheoretical model of change. Reincarceration outcomes were analyzed for 818 prisoners who were released between January 2010 and December 2013 from 3 prisons located in Lagos State, Nigeria. Data were obtained from the prison records on the reincarceration status of the subjects based on an at-risk period of 36 months after release. A propensity score matching procedure was used to select an equal number (n = 409) of treated subjects (those who participated in a prisoner reentry program) and untreated subjects (nonparticipants in the program). Findings from a Cox-regression analysis revealed that participating in any of the programs (faith- or non-faith-based) reduced reincarceration at a statistically significant level; however, there was no difference in reincarceration status based on the type of treatment received. Findings provide evidence that prisoner reentry programs can reduce reincarceration. With this knowledge, the reentry program providers may advocate more government supports for reentry activities. They may collaborate with the policymakers and legislators to develop strategies that will enhance the reintegration of ex-prisoners into communities and thereby prevent their return to crimes but ensure they are productive for themselves, their families and the community.