Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Advisor

Steven A. Hecht

Committee Member

Marcelo Castro

Committee Member

Ronald J. Chenail

Abstract

The United States is currently housing 2,220,300 inmates. At least 90% of these inmates will eventually be released and expected to successfully reintegrate into society. While it is in the nation’s best interest that these individuals are prepared to become contributing members of society, the academic experiences of those in prison, regardless of their sentence, is important. The success of educational correction has been traditionally measured by the reduction in recidivism and by the increased likelihood of successful reintegration. However, we know little about what makes these programs successful to participants, as there is a gap in the literature regarding their satisfaction with postsecondary education programs while incarcerated. This dissertation focuses on understanding the perspectives and experiences of previously incarcerated students through information gathered from paroled individuals who engaged in postsecondary correctional education. Specifically, it explores the availability of postsecondary education, their access to class materials, as well as the roadblocks they faced. Participants were previously housed in one of the seven correctional facilities in Rhode Island.

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