Date of Award

Summer 8-13-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Barbara Warner

Second Advisor

Mary Finn

Third Advisor

Mark Reed

Fourth Advisor

Tammy Meredith


Between 2008 and 2016 the parole population in the U.S. increased by 44,000 to 870,500 (Kaeble & Cowhig, 2018) and about one third of prison admissions annually are parole violators (Carson, 2015). Participation in programs that address criminogenic needs leads to fewer re-incarcerations (Andrews & Bonta, 2010). Moreover, neighborhood conditions and the availability of programs across neighborhoods are related to returns to prison (Hipp et al., 2010).

This study extends research on parole outcomes by investigating whether neighborhood conditions related to disadvantage negatively affect the number of treatment programs available, the number of program attendances by parolees, and the occurrence of five parole outcomes. Moreover, this study examines the direct effects of program attendance on parole outcomes and whether program attendance moderates the negative effects of community conditions on parole outcomes. Outcomes were examined individually and two groups – outcomes likely to occur early in the parole episode (e.g. violation, positive drug test, violation arrest) and outcomes likely to occur later in the parole episode (e.g., felony arrest, revocation). Both single level and multilevel models were utilized to test hypotheses. The study sample consisted of 1,637 parolees living in 65 census tracts in five urban areas in Georgia who ended supervision between 2011 and 2013.

Findings indicate that among individual level attributes, only parolee risk score predicted all five parole outcomes and being male predicted three of the five parole outcomes. Program attendance predicted an increased likelihood of early outcomes and a reduced likelihood of late outcomes. The number of programs available in a neighborhood did not predict program attendance. Program attendance moderated the effects of several individual level attributes: younger parolees experienced the beneficial effects of program attendance by decreasing the likelihood of felony arrest. Similarly, the beneficial effects of attendance are strengthened for female and white parolees which decreases their likelihood of revocation. None of the neighborhood conditions (level of disadvantage, mobility, or proportion of black population) significantly predicted program attendance. Multi-level analysis examined only the likelihood of early parole outcomes revealing that as a neighborhood’s mobility increased, the likelihood of violation, positive drug test, or violation arrest increased.


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