Faculty in the News In the News

April 25, 2016 at 8:52 am

Post Quotes Kaufman on ‘Big Payoffs’ in Degree Programs for Prisoners

Dr. Nicole Kaufman

Dr. Nicole Kaufman

The Post, Ohio University’s student newspaper, quoted Dr. Nicole Kaufman, Assistant Professor of Sociology, in an April 20 story on “OU offers educational opportunity, degrees for students in prison.”

“Sean Bearden graduated with an associate’s degree from Ohio University without stepping foot in Athens or outside of Collins Correctional Facility in New York,” writes Madeleine Peck in the Post. “Bearden is one of many students throughout the country who has taken OU courses through OHIO Correctional Education while in prison.”

Nicole Kaufman, an assistant professor of sociology and anthropology, has completed research on prisoner reentry into society.

“It’s incredibly frustrating because of all the setbacks that people have,” Kaufman said. “There is a very large amount of discrimination against people with records in the labor market and the housing market (as well). But also people who spend time in prison generally have lower educational completion and have fewer skills to begin with and shorter legitimate work histories.”

Bearden added that while in prison, he didn’t know how people in academia would react to his background.

“I didn’t know if that was constantly going to be an issue, and it’s not like you can really ask around and see if other people have had a similar experience ‘cause it’s not common thing,” he said. “So there was an idea in the back of my head that it might all be for nothing, but I mean it ended up working out.”

Kaufman said from the research she has seen, there are “big payoffs” from and “a great amount of need” for correctional education programs in prisons.

Read the more in the Post.

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