Skip to main content

Incorporating individualized placement and support principles into vocational rehabilitation for formerly incarcerated veterans (LePage et al. 2016)

Absence of conflict of interest.

Citation

LePage, J. P., Lewis, A. A., Crawford, A. M., Parish, J. A., Ottomanelli, L., Washington, E. L., & Cipher, D. J. (2016). Incorporating individualized placement and support principles into vocational rehabilitation for formerly incarcerated veterans. Psychiatric Services, 67(7), 735-742.

Highlights

  • The study examined the effect of the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) program on employment and earnings outcomes for justice-involved veterans with a prior felony conviction and a mental illness or substance abuse disorder.
  • The study team used a randomized controlled trial and statistical tests to examine differences between justice-involved veterans who were offered the IPS program and veterans who were not offered this program. Justice-involved veterans self-reported their outcomes, which were verified based on a review of paystubs or contact with employers.
  • The study showed that the IPS program increased employment, wages, number of days employed, and number of hours worked.
  • The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is high because it was based on a well-implemented randomized controlled trial. This means we are confident that the estimated effects are attributable to the IPS program, not to other factors.

Intervention Examined

Individual Placement and Support (IPS)

Features of the Intervention

The IPS program is an evidence-based supported employment program for people with significant barriers to employment. The program is based on core principles that include rapid job search, small caseloads, and the integration of vocational and treatment services. Participants receive individualized job search assistance and ongoing work-based vocational assessment. This study implemented IPS with justice-involved veterans who have a history of incarceration. To support this population, the study authors modified the original IPS program to include the About Face (AF) program. AF is a group-based, one-week vocational rehabilitation program in which participants create resumes, discuss common problems facing justice-involved veterans who have a history of incarceration, and develop potential solutions. All study participants received services in the AF program, but only the treatment group received services under both the AF and IPS programs.

Features of the Study

The study used a randomized controlled trial and statistical tests to examine differences between justice-involved veterans who were offered the IPS program and justice-involved veterans who were not offered this program. Both groups of justice-involved veterans participated in the AF program. Of all 84 study participants, 81 (96 percent) were male. Fifty-seven (68 percent) were African American, 23 (27 percent) were White, 3 (4 percent) were Hispanic, and 1 (1 percent) had a mixed racial-ethnic background. On average, participants had 12.5 years of education and averaged 1.6 incarcerations; 83 to 96 months of lifetime incarceration and 30 to 36 months of incarceration in the past ten years. Forty-six participants took part in the IPS and AF programs, and 38 justice-involved veterans took part in the AF program only.

Findings

Employment

  • The study showed statistically significant, positive impacts of the IPS program on employment. Forty-six percent of justice-involved veterans who were offered the IPS and AF programs found jobs within 180 days, compared with 21 percent of justice-involved veterans who were offered the AF program only. There were no statistically significant impacts of the IPS program on finding jobs 90 days after the program was implemented.
  • The study revealed statistically significant, positive impacts of the IPS program on the number of days employed and hours worked. Justice-involved veterans who were offered the IPS and AF programs were employed for 23 more days, worked about 9 more hours per week, and worked a total of about 80 hours more than justice-involved veterans who were offered the AF program only.

Earnings

  • The study showed statistically significant, positive impacts of the IPS program on earnings. Justice-involved veterans who were offered the IPS and AF programs earned $707 more over 180 days compared with justice-involved veterans in only the AF program.

Causal Evidence Rating

The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is high because it was based on a well-implemented randomized controlled trial. This means we are confident that the estimated effects are attributable to the IPS program, not to other factors.

Reviewed by CLEAR

April 2020

Topic Area

Topic Area