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The Relationship Between Recidivism and Participation in a Community College Associate of Arts Degree Program for Incarcerated Offenders

NCJ Number
Date Published
184 pages

This dissertation reports on a study that examined the effects of providing the opportunity to complete an Associate of Arts degree to male offenders during their time in confinement.


The author of this dissertation sought to address the correctional system’s inability to eliminate recidivism. The author had the purpose of examining the relationship between rehabilitation program participation and recidivism. The author specifically focused on the college program offered by Hagerstown Junior College (HJC) at the Maryland Correctional Training Center (MCTC), which has operated as a post-secondary educational program, staffed and operated by HJC. The success or non-success, indicated by non-recidivism or recidivism, respectively, was measured by inmates’ subsequent arrests, criminal convictions, and correctional reincarcerations. The dissertation provides an overview of the history of correctional education and post-secondary education in correctional institutions; a discussion of the methodology of the study, including design, general procedures, population, sample and selection, treatment, instrumentation and validation of instruments, data collection system, data analysis, and findings. Appendices include the data collection sheet; college program guidelines; research agreements; maladaptive behavior record, environmental deprivation scale, and law encounter severity scale; and additional demographic materials.

Date Published: January 1, 1980