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NCJ Number: 229608 Find in a Library
Title: Social Symbols, Stigma, and the Labor Market Experiences of Former Prisoners
Journal: Journal of Correctional Education  Volume:60  Issue:4  Dated:December 2009  Pages:316-342
Author(s): Carl D. Owens Jr.
Date Published: December 2009
Page Count: 27
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the impact of college participation on the reduction of criminal activity.
Abstract: Can college participation have any meaningful effects for former prisoners, beyond quantifiable measures of recidivism and income? Although stigma, overt discrimination, and a shrinking low-skilled labor market form notable challenges to reentry, some studies suggest that college experience helps former prisoners successfully avoid recidivism. Nevertheless, scholars continue to debate how college may work as a mechanism for reducing criminal activity. Proposing that college increases former prisoners’ access to mainstream opportunities and holds particular implication in the labor market, this paper revises Lofland's normal-smith theory to identify a new kind of institution coined: the 'opportunity–smith'. Thematic content analysis of data gathered through interviews with seventeen formerly incarcerated college students suggests that the credentials and skills acquired through college participation help formerly incarcerated individuals successfully face the challenges of reentry. Tables, figure, and references (Published Abstract)
Main Term(s): Recidivists
Index Term(s): Education-crime relationships; Educational levels; Inmate academic education; Reentry
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