1. Preventing Parolee Crime Program (PPCP)

Preventing Parolee Crime Program (PPCP)

Program Goals

The Preventing Parolee Crime Program (PPCP) is a multidimensional, parole-based reintegration program run by the California Department of Corrections. The program aims to reduce crime and reincarceration of parolees by providing them with services that can facilitate a successful reintegration into society following release from prison. The program, originally called the Preventing Parolee Failure Program, was implemented in response to the record high recidivism rates among California parolees. The program was created to address the many problems that cause a high rate of return to prison among parolees reentering the community, including substance abuse, unemployment, illiteracy, and homelessness.


Services Provided

PPCP consists of six networks of service providers that offer community- and residential-based drug abuse treatment, job training and placement services, math and literacy skill development, and housing. Although the PPCP service networks vary in their specific treatment goals and activities, together they comprise an integrated, statewide program designed to reduce high rates of parolee recidivism and reincarceration.



PPCP includes two community-based employment programs that work to help parolees gain steady, full-time employment. These programs include Jobs Plus (JP) and the Offenders Employment Continuum (OEC). The JP program consists of 12 subcontractors in 9 counties that develop job banks of local employers willing to hire parolees. Providers are paid for their services for each successful job placement. The program also offers a 1- or 2-day employment workshop that focuses on resume writing, interviewing strategies, and proper work attire, although attendance is not mandatory. The OEC consists of 6 subcontractors in 6 counties that provide mandatory 40-hour workshops that focus on improving parolees’ interest and aptitude for work, identifying and fixing barriers to long-term employment, and encouraging entry in vocational training. Providers are paid based on workshop enrollment, regardless of the number of eventual job placements.


Substance Abuse

Two networks of providers offer substance abuse education and recovery services, including the Substance Abuse Treatment and Recovery (STAR) and Parolee Services Network (PSN). STAR provides a 4-week educational program that helps parolees recognize, acknowledge, and prevent substance abuse problems. The program also helps parolees change antisocial attitudes and behaviors (such as habitual lying, stealing, and aggression); improve self-control; and develop problem-solving and conflict resolution skills. The STAR program is held in parole offices statewide and can serve more than 6,500 parolees a year.


PSN provides four primary modalities of substance abuse treatment, including short-term detoxification, long-term (180 days) residential drug treatment, and outpatient services. The fourth modality is sober-living support, which provides up to 90 days of drug- and alcohol-free community-based housing. PSN operates in eight counties across the State and offers a total of 500 treatment slots. Not all treatment sites offer all four treatment modalities.


Math and Literacy Education

The Computerized Literacy Learning Center (CLLC) aims to improve parolees’ mathematic and literacy skills by a minimum of two grade levels. It does this by providing training services through a self-paced, computer-assisted instructional program. Parolees can enter and exit the program at any time. In addition to a traditional curriculum, CLLC also develops custom curricula to assist parolees in obtaining and retaining employment. The CLLC provides more than 200 computer workstations in 19 sites across the State, including parole offices.



PPCP also has a network of six Residential Multi-Service Centers (RMSCs) that provide support to homeless parolees transitioning to independent living in the community through a residential therapeutic environment. In addition to providing a stable residential environment, RMSCs provide employment, math and literacy skill development, substance abuse education, and recovery services, as well as services to help develop communication and problem-solving skills. Employed parolees are required to save a certain percentage of their earnings in order to eventually transition to independent living. Parolees are allowed to reside in an RMSC for 6 months or up to a year with approval from a parole agent. The RMSCs also provide aftercare for 60 to 90 days.  

Intervention ID

18 to 100


Study 1


The study by Zhang, Roberts and Callanan (2006) found that participants of the Preventing Parolee Crime Program (PPCP), as a whole, had a recidivism rate that was 8 percentage points lower than non–PPCP parolees (44.8 percent versus 52.8 percent, respectively). In addition, increasing levels of participation in PPCP services was associated with an even lower recidivism rate. Only 32.7 percent of PPCP participants met at least one program’s treatment goal, but they had a recidivism rate that was 20.1 percent lower than non–PPCP parolees. Although only 13.8 percent of PPCP participants met more than one treatment goal, they had a recidivism rate that was 47.1 percent below non–PPCP participants.


The study also showed that PPCP participants that failed to achieve any program goals (about 53 percent) were reincarcerated at the same rate as non–PPCP parolees. This suggests that although participation in PPCP is associated with lower rates of recidivism, most of the positive effects were concentrated among parolees who received at least one full dose of services.


The results of the logistic regression confirmed the advantage experienced by PPCP participants. The odds of non–PPCP parolees being reincarcerated within 12 months of parole release were 1.38 times higher than PPCP participants. The odds of reincarceration were 2.46 times higher for non–PPCP parolees when compared to PPCP participants who met one treatment goal. Non–PPCP parolees were 7.87 times more likely to be reincarcerated after 1 year than PPCP participants who met more than one treatment goal.


Individual Program Effects

Program effects were further analyzed by treatment services provided to PPCP participants. Meeting treatment goals was consistently associated with lower recidivism rates, irrespective of service type. After 12 months, participants of Residential Multi-Service Centers who met treatment goals had the lowest reincarceration rate (15.5 percent). The reincarceration rate for participants who met treatment goals at Jobs Plus was 33.1 percent and 28.5 percent at Offenders Employment Continuum. Participants in the Computerized Literacy Learning Center had a prison return rate of 26.5 percent, while Substance Abuse and Treatment Recovery (STAR) program participants had a return rate of 40.4 percent and Parolee Service Network participants had a return rate of 25.7 percent. Participants who met the treatment goals at the STAR program had the least advantage relative to non–PPCP parolees (40.4 percent versus 52.8 percent return rate, respectively).


Level of Participation and Incremental Effects

PPCP participants were grouped into three categories: (1) those who had minimum participation in the program (i.e., early dropouts); (2) those who received substantial services but did not meet treatment goals (i.e., service goal partially achieved); and (3) those who completed the treatment goal (i.e., service goal achieved). On the likelihood of recidivism in the first 12 months of release, a second observation period was included: 12 months from onset of services. The results showed that, in general, the longer the parolees stayed in a program, the less likely they were to return to prison. For each program, early dropouts had the highest rate of return (for both observation periods), followed by those who partially achieved service goal and those who met the treatment goals.

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