How Can Vocational College Courses Enhance the Releasing Prisoners’ Employability? A Mixed Empirical Study in China


The background of this study is that numerous studies have shown that unemployment among released prisoners is an important factor leading to their recurrence. Vocational training for inmates can effectively enhance their employability and reduce the recurrence rate. In this context, vocational colleges need to explore ways of training cooperation with prisons to improve the employability of prison detainees. This study designed a "qual → QUAN → qual" methodology and collected empirical data in a Chinese mainland prison. Prisoners (N=451) from three sessions of the Employment Guidance courses participated in the study.

Two research questions are addressed (1) Can vocational college courses effectively improve the employment ability of released prisoners? (2) How effective are vocational skills, employment guidance and psychological adjustment as three major categories of courses provided by vocational colleges? The data includes (1)interviews with selected prisoners (2)interviews with selected prison guards (3)questionnaires from prisoners (4)interactions with prisoners in employment guidance courses.

Analysis of the data revealed that (1)vocational college courses can effectively improve the employment ability of released prisoners (2)vocational college courses are far from enough among detainees and vocational skills are the most needed courses (3)employment guidance and psychological adjustment courses show important significance in the releasing prisoners' employability.

This study discusses an in-depth analysis of the employment guidance needs of detainees. Meanwhile, it puts forward the countermeasures and suggestions that can be implemented by higher vocational colleges and provides a reference for the relevant laws and policies.

Author Information
Jie Shen, Zhejiang Institute of Economics and Trade, China
Yue Qiu, Shanghai University of International Business and Economics, China

Paper Information
Conference: ECE2023
Stream: Education

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon