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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Waste Management in California Jails and Prisons
by Bland, Antoinette, Ed.D., Brandman University, 2015, 110; 3720297
Abstract (Summary)

The focus of this mixed-methods study was to identify waste reduction strategies that reduced the impact of California jails and prisons on the environment through waste diversion and reduction. This study also sought to identify barriers that hindered jail and prison personnel from developing such strategies, and pursued recommendations on how those barriers could be overcome.

Traditionally, California county jails and state prisons are resource intensive, overcrowded housing locations for about 200,000 adult men and women (Glaze & Herberman, 2013). California jails and prisons operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and utilize resources such as electricity, personnel, food, and other products. Accordingly, they generated significant waste (California Department of Resources and Recovery [CalRecycle], 2012). The prisoners alone generated about four pounds of waste per person each day, consistent with societal averages (CalRecycle, 2012; Corrections Corporation of America, 2007; Environmental Protection Agency [EPA], 2012a). Because of this, jails and prison must do more to reduce waste.

This study provided examples of organizations currently reducing waste through strategic initiatives and highlighted areas where jails and prisons could begin or further improve waste diversion practices. The study utilized archival data, a web-based survey, and interviews for data collection and analysis. The data from California jails and prisons were analyzed to identify strategies, barriers, and ways to eliminate or reduce barriers to waste reduction programs in California jails and prisons.

The findings conclude, California state-operated prisons and sheriff-operated county jails are using two primary strategies to divert waste from landfills. The number one strategy is recycling. The second strategy being used is waste prevention and material reuse. The barriers identified by California state-operated prisons and sheriff-operated county jails include finding vendors to collect certain materials as well as finding vendors to travel to remote locations. Other barriers include a lack of personnel and in some instances a lack of knowledge. Sheriff-operated jails and state-operated prisons in California identified waste management program support from leadership as a primary method to eliminate or reduce barriers to implementing a waste reduction program. Implications for action and future research are also discussed as part of this study.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Abrams, Marv
Commitee: Clark-White, Patricia, Goold, Michael, Sjostrom, Cheryl
School: Brandman University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 77/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Climate Change, Sustainability
Keywords: California, Jails, Prisons, Recycling, Waste management
Publication Number: 3720297
ISBN: 978-1-339-01204-9
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