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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

"We Been Hurt, Been Down before. When Our Pride Was Low, Lookin' at the World like 'Where Do We Go?'": An Exploration of Educational Attainment and Post-Release Employment Outcomes for Connecticut Department of Correction Ex-Offenders
by Corbett, Erin S., Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2017, 157; 10287831
Abstract (Summary)

While recent research has focused on the relationship between educational attainment and recidivism for formerly incarcerated persons, less research has focused on the relationship between educational attainment/level and employment. This study employed mixed methods to examine data on post-release employment outcomes for ex-offenders from, and explore the forces that govern educational programming offered in, the Connecticut Department of Correction. For the quantitative analytics, the primary independent variable of employment was operationalized as employment status (employed/unemployed) and weekly wage. The two dependent variables were education level and race/ethnicity. Data indicate that, for the ex-offenders studied, education level varied by race, post-release employment status varied by race, the relationship between education and employment was impacted by race, yet there was no mean wage difference either by education level or race. Forces that influenced educational offerings were state budget, local job markets, inmate programs, and partnerships initiated by facility school leaders. Forces that influenced educational program participation were student mobility, custody mandates/restrictions, external partnership selection criteria, and agency practice of providing inmates with a small financial incentive for enrollment and matriculation. Forces that influenced student outcomes included extensive differentiated instruction, custody mandates/restrictions, the lack of quiet time and study space, GED exam changes in content and administration, and access to school supplies. The findings indicate an agency need for better systems of data collection and maintenance, attention to the impact of budget cuts, and attention to faculty and administrative tenure within the agency. Ultimately, the research paradigm around recidivism needs to shift to a more detailed examination of the myriad components that comprise recidivism, as opposed to simply using recidivism as the sole predictor of successful ex-offender rehabilitation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Perna, Laura W.
Commitee: Manville, Daniel, Moneta, Larry
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Higher Education Management
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 79/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Education, Adult education, Criminology
Keywords: Attainment, Education, Employment, Incarceration, Postsecondary, Prison
Publication Number: 10287831
ISBN: 978-0-355-21883-1
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