Student Attitudes Towards Offender Reintegration
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This study examines Texas State University students’ attitudes regarding the purposes of incarceration, their perceptions of obstacles faced by previously incarcerated individuals, and their personal opinions of previously incarcerated individuals. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ 2015 report on correctional populations, approximately 6.7 million people were under some form of correctional supervision (Kaeble & Glaze, 2016). The majority of the approximately two million who are currently incarcerated will, in fact, return to the community. A common perspective of incarcerated individuals is “out of sight, out of mind,” but there are more ex-offenders outside of prison walls than there are inside. The aim of this study is to determine how students rationalize supportive and punitive regimes previously incarcerated individuals often face. This study highlights the consequences of the United States’ lack of rehabilitative efforts and successful reintegration of previously incarcerated individuals. To gain a clearer insight into student attitudes, a survey of 125 Texas State students was conducted. Additionally, five semi-structured interviews were conducted. This mixed-methods approach revealed that Texas State students revealed discsord between their own views and societial views. Also, students conveyed a “not in my backyard view” on reentry issues in that they often supported rehabilitative efforts of formerly incarcerated individuals, yet were weary of such offenders being part of their close network.