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Jessica Hart


With crime rates high and increasing numbers of offenders receiving community-based corrections sentences, factors related to risk of recidivism should be a high priority for researchers. The impact of crime on offenders, victims, and communities is costly. Traditional punishment has done little to reduce crime, particularly among repeat offenders. The purpose of this study was to examine the predictive ability of self-efficacy on recidivism, based on social cognitive theory. The research design was quantitative and nonexperimental, using regression analyses. The nonrandomized sample consisted of adult males incarcerated on felony charges at a large urban jail in the Midwest of the United States. The archival data were generated between May 2017 and the end of October 2017. Total scores on the Index of Sense of Self-Efficacy Scale was used as the independent variable data, while incidents of reincarceration were collected as dependent variable data. The findings suggest that there is a significant relationship between the two variables, in which participants’ ISSES scores significantly predicted recidivism when self-efficacy was measured in total score and recidivism was measured as time. Potential for positive social change lies in the reduction in victimization, decreased financial and emotional cost of recidivism, and increased public safety through the development of interventions aimed at decreasing recidivism by increasing self-efficacy.

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