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ERIC Number: ED557125
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 139
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3211-2163-6
Educating the Incarcerated: Perspectives from Inmate Students Regarding Education as a Means to Reduce Recidivism
Dunn, Terri Cauley
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Alabama State University
The purpose of this phenomenological research study was to describe how inmate students incarcerated in an Alabama Department of Correctional Services (ADOC) work release facility, and who are enrolled in a prison-based GED program, perceive the role of education in curtailing criminal activity among prisoners who are released back into society. Specifically, this study sought to determine if inmates who were participating in a prison-based GED program believe that earning a GED fosters behavioral changes that lead to a reduced rate of recidivism among those surveyed. This qualitative study utilized a hermeneutic, phenomenological design to interpret informants' responses to open-ended questions concerning their "lived" experiences as a result of their participation in the prison-based GED program. The informants of the study included inmate students from an Alabama Department of Corrections work release facility. The data presented in this study revealed that most participants enrolled in the program after being referred by the Warden during orientation at the work release facility. Data revealed that participants viewed the educational program as a means to receive personal benefits and increased learning that would lead to job opportunities and improved family involvement, post-release. Data also revealed that participants had an array of work interests and many participants had goals of continuing their education after earning a GED. The findings further revealed that participant perception of education improved after enrolling in the education program and participants overwhelmingly expressed having an improved perception of self after participating in the education program at the work release facility. Participants believed that an education provided an opportunity for them to change; their life would be impacted because education leads to better job opportunities, and society would be impacted because these increased job opportunities would lead to a reduction in crime and recidivism rates. Noted barriers for inmates who wanted to earn an education while incarcerated were work requirement barriers, lack of education, and having a felony record. Increased job opportunities, passes off-site, and increased learning were benefits participants associated with earning an education while incarcerated. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High School Equivalency Programs; High Schools; Adult Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Alabama
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: General Educational Development Tests