Private Sector Rehab & Reinsertion - El Salvador

Funded by: Catholic Relief ServicesCountry: El SalvadorDate Range: 2019 - 2020Project Lead: Catholic Relief ServicesNotre Dame Collaborators: Pulte InstituteContact: Estela Rivero

El Salvador is the smallest and most densely populated country in Central America. With a population of just over 6 million, it is also considered the most industrialized country in Central America. However, its people continue to face serious challenges - specifically through violence and insecurity.

Led by Catholic Relief Services, the Pulte Institute, and the Universidad CentroAmericana (UCA), this project aimed to strengthen the Salvadoran prison system’s rehabilitation and reinsertion programs with evidence-based methodologies. As part of the project, CRS:

  • sustainably transferred its proven rehabilitation programs to the Directorate General of Prisons (DGCP) and finalized their adoption into the prison system’s formal rehabilitation curriculum; and
  • worked closely with the government agencies involved in reinsertion to develop, adapt, and transfer an Employment Readiness curriculum – to include regular use of I am READY, a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) informed curriculum – that will provide inmates and parolees high-quality support services to succeed once outside the prison.

As part of this intervention, the psychology department of UCA has developed a pre- and post-evaluation tool with nine psychological constructs that sought to support the DCGP and provided insights for judges and businesses.  This is the same tool that was being used by the UCA to evaluate the I am READY curriculum.  

The Pulte Institute advised and provided technical guidance to the UCA research team and CRS to validate or improve the research design, protocol and data analysis.  The UCA research team will continue to remain responsible for the implementation of the research and evaluation process in El Salvador.

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