Communication professor Jennifer Wood co-edits book on prison education

Jennifer Wood, associate professor of communication arts and sciences at Penn State New Kensington, co-edited a book that was published in July by University of Illinois Press.

“Working for Justice: A Handbook of Prison Education and Activism,” is a compilation of the latest scholarship on prison issues in the United States. It offers practical approaches to prison education and advocacy, and promotes education, activism and reform as a means to solving societal issues. Her co-editors were Stephen Hartnett, professor of communication at the University of Colorado Denver and Eleanor Novek, associate professor of journalism at Monmouth (New Jersey) University

“The book details communication scholars’ work teaching in prisons and prison reentry programs, as well as their efforts to raise awareness about prison issues in the United States,” said Wood, who holds a doctorate degree in communication and rhetoric from the University of Pittsburgh.

An author of numerous publications for scholarly journals, Wood has taught several college communication courses at the Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution in Pittsburgh. She is a trained volunteer mediator for the Victim/Offender Dialogue Program for Crimes of Violence, has served as a mediator for the Pittsburgh Mediation Center’s Victim/Offender Mediation program and has volunteered as a medical advocate for Pittsburgh Action Against Rape. In addition, she is researching a project that examines restorative justice policies across the country.

Wood joined the campus faculty in 1999, and teaches courses in conflict resolution, rhetoric and effective speech. Her research focuses on crime victim policy, the prison-industrial complex and restorative justice. Her work has been published in numerous scholarly journals, including Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, National Women’s Studies Association Journal and Western Journal of Communication.

For more information about the book, email Wood at

For more about Wood, visit

For more about the Penn State New Kensington Communications program, visit

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Last Updated July 01, 2013