Community Mediation Maryland Prisoner Re-entry Mediation Recidivism Report Summary
Choice Research Associates is an independent evaluator for the Community Mediation Maryland (CMM) Prison Re-entry Mediation program. This summary provides the findings of the 2014 Reentry Mediation In-Depth Recidivism Analysis report which examined the impact of mediation on recidivism outcomes of arrest, conviction, incarceration, and returns to prison for violations of parole or probation. This study included 282 individuals who participated in mediation between November 2008 and March 2014 matched using quasi-experimental methods based on a calculated propensity score to two control groups.
Key findings of this study comparing the Mediation Treatment Group to the CMM Control Group indicate that participation in reentry mediation has a significant impact on all recidivism outcomes measured in this project, after controlling for key factors that may otherwise explain this finding (e.g., days since release, age, number of times previously incarcerated).
• The probability of arrest is reduced by 13% for those who mediated compared to those who did not. The number of sessions is also a significant factor – with each additional mediation session, the probability of arrest is reduced by 8%;
• The probability of conviction is reduced by 15%, for those who mediated compared to those who did not. Each additional mediation session, the probability of conviction is
reduced by 9%;
• The probability of being sentenced to incarceration is reduced by 10%, for those who mediated compared to those who have not. Each additional mediation session, the
probability of conviction is reduced by 7%;
• Among those returned to prison by DPSCS Department of Corrections (DOC), the probability of being returned for those who mediate is 12% less than those who do not mediate. The number of sessions is not a significant factor on this measure.
A second key finding is that the Cox Regression survival analysis reveals that mediation reduces the hazard (or risk) of all outcomes reported compared to those who do not mediate. The Mediation Treatment Group survive in the community longer than the CMM Control Group, even after controlling for relevant key factors (e.g., age, average days sentenced, number of times previously incarcerated).
Mediation is a short term intervention with a long term impact. In fact, the majority of the mediation participants had but one 2 hour session. Given the rigor of the analytic method, the quality and quantity of the data and the consistency of these results, it is clear that the CMM Reentry Mediation model is an effective tool for reducing the costs of involvement in the criminal justice system to the individual, their families, and the community. The impact of mediation is believed to be akin to a critical course correction to turn an individual away from a criminal trajectory through the improved relationship with family and support persons and adherence to agreements and plans negotiated during mediation. Mediation is an innovative tool that addresses a critical reentry factor and should be incorporated in a comprehensive and integrated reentry strategy.
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