Oakey, M.K. (1980). Evaluation: Lorton Art Program, Inc. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice/National Criminal Justice Reference Service.
Author Affiliations: Office of Resource Management, District of Columbia Department of Corrections
Artforms: Fine arts
Program: District of Columbia Department of Corrections
Program Description: The Lorton Art Program, Inc. is a comprehensive fine arts program which uses art education and individual skills development to rehabilitate participants. Classes are conducted four days a week for a minimum of two and one-half hours per session at the Lorton minimum-security facility and youth centers I and II.
Program (Study) Location: Lorton Correctional Facility, District of Columbia
Study Published: January 1980
Participant Type: Juvenile offenders (the program may have also included an adult component)
Sample Size: 372
Data Type: Quantitative, Qualitative
Study Design: Data were obtained from the art director’s files and her evaluation of each student’s performance, District of Columbia Department of Corrections records (inmate characteristics, parole violations, and new convictions), results of an institutional staff survey, and participant questionnaires.
Evaluation Focus: Recidivism, student characteristics, student program performance, institutional staff opinions of the program, and student attitudes toward the program
Summary of Impact:
● A comparison of program participants and nonparticipants provided no conclusive evidence that participation in the arts program reduced recidivism (p. 29).
● After four months, a lower percentage of “failure” for program participants (30%). released through a community correctional center, compared to nonparticipants (41%).
● Evaluation of program by treatment and administrative staff was highly favorable, (Executive Summary, no page number).
● Anonymous survey of participants showed less enthusiasm for the program but was generally favorable (Executive Summary, no page number).
● The only measure for which a correlation could be established with performance on parole was “student’s reaction to the program.” Degree of involvement, prior training, interest level, progress achieved, and talent were not related to post-release performance (Executive Summary, no page number).
● Authors concluded that the program was sufficiently effective for the Department of Corrections to consider assuming all or a major portion of the program’s funding.
KEYWORDS: fine arts, juvenile, The Lorton Art Program, Inc., parole, recidivism, youth