Event Title

Overcoming Prejudice against Formerly Incarcerated Individuals: The Value of a College Degree

Presenter Information

Eric Cazares

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

College

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Major

Psychology

Location

Event Center A&B

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Mark Agars

Start Date

5-27-2014 1:00 PM

End Date

5-27-2014 2:30 PM

Abstract

Within the United States, there are currently over 2.2 million individuals incarcerated throughout local, state, and federal correctional institutions. Of those incarcerated in the U.S., it is estimated that roughly 650,000 individuals will transition from correctional facilities to their areas of residency each year. Difficulty establishing stable employment has been observed as a critical determinant of whether formerly incarcerated individuals successfully refrain from criminal activity. Research has found that organizations are willing to discriminate towards ex-offenders during hiring process. With high levels of discrimination taking place, it is important to explore factors that may enhance the employability of formerly incarcerated individuals. Education is a key component for formerly incarcerated individuals and receiving a college degree can help alleviate many of the prejudices experienced when seeking employment post incarceration. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects a college degree will have on the employability of formerly incarcerated individuals applying to low and high level positions. We expect there to be a three-way interaction between incarceration status, education level, and job level (high/low). Such that the buffering effect of education level on the negative impact that incarceration status has on hiring decisions will be greater for higher level positions that for lower level positions. So, ex-offenders who obtained a college degree will experience greater rates of employment when applying to high level positions, than when applying to low level positions (data collection is currently in progress).

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May 27th, 1:00 PM May 27th, 2:30 PM

Overcoming Prejudice against Formerly Incarcerated Individuals: The Value of a College Degree

Event Center A&B

Within the United States, there are currently over 2.2 million individuals incarcerated throughout local, state, and federal correctional institutions. Of those incarcerated in the U.S., it is estimated that roughly 650,000 individuals will transition from correctional facilities to their areas of residency each year. Difficulty establishing stable employment has been observed as a critical determinant of whether formerly incarcerated individuals successfully refrain from criminal activity. Research has found that organizations are willing to discriminate towards ex-offenders during hiring process. With high levels of discrimination taking place, it is important to explore factors that may enhance the employability of formerly incarcerated individuals. Education is a key component for formerly incarcerated individuals and receiving a college degree can help alleviate many of the prejudices experienced when seeking employment post incarceration. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects a college degree will have on the employability of formerly incarcerated individuals applying to low and high level positions. We expect there to be a three-way interaction between incarceration status, education level, and job level (high/low). Such that the buffering effect of education level on the negative impact that incarceration status has on hiring decisions will be greater for higher level positions that for lower level positions. So, ex-offenders who obtained a college degree will experience greater rates of employment when applying to high level positions, than when applying to low level positions (data collection is currently in progress).