California Prisons Audit Reveals Poor Rehabilitation Results

State auditors say California's increased efforts to change the behavior of prison inmates are not reducing the rate at which ex-convicts commit new crimes.

But corrections officials say the audit may be drawing conclusions too soon, since auditors relied on data from five years ago.

The audit released Thursday says recidivism rates did not vary significantly between inmates who participated in the most rehabilitation programs and those that had no programs at all.

It's a blow to California's years of efforts to sharply reduce the inmate population while increasing academic, vocational and behavior programs designed to help inmates break out of a cycle of crime.

Auditors blamed state corrections officials for not meeting inmates' individual needs, not evaluating whether behavior modification programs are working and failing to gauge their cost-effectiveness.

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