An Offender's Perspective of Correctional Education Programs in a Southeastern State

This dissertation examines the experiences of 20 offenders involved in correctional education programs through the lens of post-incarceration employment.  

Boderick M. Bennett, Ph.D.
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation
Walden University
Publication Year
Resource Type
Number of Pages

This multiple case study examines the experiences of 20 offenders involved in correctional education programs while incarcerated to explore their experience through the lens of post-incarceration employment. Narrative data were elicited pertaining to offenders’ perceptions of past education experience, correctional education experience, and their perceived impact of the experience on their future employment. Data were analyzed using inductive coding procedures to categorize the offenders’ perceptions of correctional education. According to study findings, offenders’ participation in and completion of correctional education programs while incarcerated provided the necessary support for them to successfully re-enter society; program participation aided offenders in bridging the gap between release and securing employment by providing the necessary skills to compete for employment.

What the experts say

An Offender’s Perspective of Correctional Education Programs in a Southeastern State provides a sound start for a literature review of correctional education. It also incorporates motivational components from the perspective of the correctional student. Though a dissertation might be a little long for many practitioners to review, it is an easy read and can shape thinking for a group that might be considering a venture into exploring how correctional students view educational opportunities.

It is recommended that users of the resource look more to the background portion of the study than the findings. An Offender’s Perspective of Correctional Education Programs in a Southeastern State offers a dated, but useful, literature review in regard to correctional education. It is, however, based on a surprisingly small sample (just 20 participants) and attempted to review correctional student perceptions of programs based on eight different codes of educational programming. This is such a diluting of the small study sample to cause one to question the extension of findings to greater populations.

The introduction and fourth chapters particularly speak to the issues, problems and potential for learning for incarcerated people and those reentering communities. The author had been a correctional officer and social worker and so brings a breadth of awareness to the issues that often exceeds that of educators who have had less depth of experience with the criminal justice system. It is an important document for those working to make the case for increased funding, access and resources for incarcerated individuals and those working to support them.

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