Justice Center for Research to examine rural prisoner re-entry issues

The Penn State Justice Center for Research, a cooperative venture of the College of the Liberal Arts and Penn State Outreach’s Justice and Safety Institute, has received grant funding to study the issues of successful prisoner reintegration into rural communities under the Center for Rural Pennsylvania’s 2012 Research Grant Projects. Re-entry is a primary focus of the criminal justice system, yet research related to the rural context of re-entry -- a significant element of Pennsylvania’s corrections landscape -- is sorely lacking.

The study, titled “An Examination of Rural Prisoner Reentry Challenges,” will identify what services are needed for re-entry, determine the extent to which services are available in rural communities, and identify risk or protective factors for successful reintegration. Other key expected outcomes include estimation of the number and analysis of the characteristics of prisoners likely to be released to Pennsylvania’s rural communities throughout the next five years, as well as public policy implications and recommendations.

Initiatives such as this enhance the rich partnerships between the Justice Center for Research and criminal justice professionals to identify issues where academic research and theory may inform the debate and aid local, state, national and international policymakers.

Gary Zajac, managing director of the Justice Center for Research, is the project’s principal investigator. He can be reached at 814-867-3651 or gxz3@psu.edu. The co-investigator, research associate Lindsay Kowalski, can be reached at 814-863-0786 or lko103@psu.edu.

Penn State’s Justice Center for Research is dually located at 327 Pond Building on the University Park campus and The 329 Building at Innovation Park. For more information about the Center, visit http://www.justicecenter.psu.edu/.

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Last Updated April 23, 2012