Improving Employment and Reducing Recidivism Among Prison Offenders Via Virtual Interview Training Tool

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University of Michigan

Status

Active, not recruiting

Conditions

Criminal Behavior

Treatments

Behavioral: Virtual Reality Job Interview Training
Behavioral: Services as usual

Study type

Interventional

Funder types

Other
Industry

Identifiers

NCT03937128
AWD011726 (Other Grant/Funding Number)
HUM00155161

Details and patient eligibility

About

The goal is to conduct a confirmatory effectiveness RCT (and an implementation evaluation) of Virtual Interview Training (VIT) by comparing employment and recidivism outcomes of offenders receiving vocational services as usual (SAU) plus VIT (SAU+VIT) with the outcomes of offenders receiving only services as usual (SAU-only). The plan calls for participants to include offenders who are at moderate to high risk for reoffending (with an emphasis on violent-crime reoffending) who are currently enrolled in a Vocational Village.

Full description

The goal is to conduct a confirmatory effectiveness RCT (and an implementation evaluation) of VIT by comparing employment and recidivism outcomes of offenders receiving vocational services as usual (SAU) plus VIT (SAU+VIT) with the outcomes of offenders receiving only services as usual (SAU-only). To meet the criteria in the funding announcement, the plan calls for participants to include offenders who are at moderate to high risk for reoffending (with an emphasis on violent-crime reoffending) who are currently enrolled in a Vocational Village. The investigators are well prepared to conduct this study because the team has extensive experience with evaluating VIT in several settings (schools and mental-health service providers) and has previously collaborated with the Michigan Department of Corrections, which administers the Vocational Villages. Objective 1. Evaluate whether SAU+VIT, compared with SAU-only, enhances employment outcomes and reduces recidivism among this population (i.e., effectiveness). At the individual level, the investigators hypothesize (H) that SAU+VIT trainees, compared with SAU-only trainees, will have higher employment rates (H1), greater improvement in job-interview skills (H2), and reduced recidivism (H3) by six-month follow-up. At the system level, the investigators hypothesize that SAU+VIT will be more cost-effective than SAU-only (H4). Subobjective 1. Explore whether use of the computerized VIT system frees up SAU staff time for non-interview-practice-related vocational training, relative to SAU-only (system level).Objective 2. Evaluate the mechanisms of employment outcomes and explore the mechanisms of recidivism. Based on Corbiere's model, the investigators hypothesize that interview-skill improvement and measured role-play interview performance will mediate the effect of interview training on employment outcomes (H5). Also, The investigators will explore whether employment outcomes mediate the relationship between interviewing skills and recidivism at six-month follow-up and twelve month follow ups. Objective 3. Conduct a multilevel, mixed-method initial process evaluation of VIT implementation to assess the acceptability, scalability, generalizability, and affordability of VIT. The investigators will use focus groups, surveys, and interviews (among offenders, staff, and leaders) to identify facilitators and barriers to implementing VIT in a prison-based vocational service program (the Vocational Village). The investigators will use budget-impact analysis to estimate the cost of implementing VIT at the Vocational Village. 1.1 Virtual Interview Training (VIT). This is an immersive simulation that allows trainees to have a virtual conversation with, and influence the behavior of, a simulated character. Previous studies suggest that virtual reality simulation training is engaging, and as a result, trainees will practice willingly for hours. The VIT simulation far exceeds typical interview training by combining video, speech recognition, and nonbranching logic (described below) to create an interactive environment in which trainees encounter complex social cues and realistic interpersonal exchanges with a virtual hiring manager. VIT was designed as part of a collaborative partnership between SIMmersion LLC and the research team to improve interview skills using behavioral-learning principles. These principles help develop sustainable changes in behavior. The team developed the VIT learning objectives, which the investigators re characterized using terminology from the literature. The job-related interview content objectives target dependability, negotiating skills (e.g., asking for a day off), teamwork, and honesty (e.g., following company policies). The interviewer performance objectives target comfort level during the interview, sharing information in a positive way, sounding interested in the position, sounding professional, and establishing a rapport with the interviewer. VIT includes the following components to help the trainee achieve the learning objectives:

Enrollment

150 estimated patients

Sex

Male

Ages

18+ years old

Volunteers

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • 18 years or older
  • Identified as at moderate to high risk for reoffending with violent crimes (determined at the time of enrollment in the Vocational Village via the COMPAS Risk Assessment Classification Instrument [60])
  • Within three months of their earliest release date
  • Actively enrolled in a Vocational Village
  • Have at least a 6th grade reading comprehension

Exclusion criteria

  • Has uncorrected hearing or visual problem that prevents him or her from using the training
  • Has a medical illness that compromises their cognition (for example, moderate to severe traumatic brain injury).

Trial design

Primary purpose

Treatment

Allocation

Randomized

Interventional model

Parallel Assignment

Masking

Single Blind

150 participants in 2 patient groups

Services as usual + Virtual Reality Job Interview Training
Experimental group
Description:
In addition to the services as usual comparator, participants will participate in Virtual Reality Job Interview Training.
Treatment:
Behavioral: Services as usual
Behavioral: Virtual Reality Job Interview Training
Services as Usual
Active Comparator group
Description:
Study participants will be receiving their Vocational Village services as usual that may include but is not limited to vocational skill training, daily living skill training, and social skill training.
Treatment:
Behavioral: Services as usual

Trial contacts and locations

0

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Central trial contact

Katherine Tucker, MSW; Brittany Ross, Bachelors

Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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