Research Proposal

Posted on

Proposal How has education in correctional facilities changed since the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 in New York State?

Significance I believe Correctional Education is an important topic to education reform. Attaining an education provides an opportunity for success to inmates when they are released from prison. Without education the chance of recidivism is higher. Yet in 1994 the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act took away the right for prison inmates to receive a grant for higher education. I’m interested in researching the effects of the act on the educational system in prisons specifically in New York State.

Research Process I first went to the ED300 page on search strategies for sources to get myself headed in the right direction. After checking Wikipedia and the listed sources I went to Trinity’s word cat search engine. Under key terms I typed in “prison” “education” and “New York State”. I didn’t find any specific books that were significant to my particular proposal. I then did the same for Trinity’s narrower search engines. Through these search results I found particular sources in the bibliographies of sources less relevant to my specific topic. I also searched the New York Times’ database by using “prison education” in the search engine. Finally I searched specific sources such as the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 after learning of its significance to the topic through my other sources.


“Cornell Prison Education Program.” Cornell Prison Education Program. Cornell University. <>.

This source is the website for a program that offers classes through the volunteer efforts of Cornell University professors to inmates at Auburn Correctional Facility.

Erisman, Wendy, and Jeanne Bayer Contardo. “Learning to Reduce Recidivism.” (2005) The Institute for Higher Education Policy. Web. <>.

This source analyzes post secondary education policy by state in correctional facilities.

“Fact Sheet: Educational and Vocational Programs in New York State Prisons.” Correctional Association of New York. The Correctional Association of New York, 2012-2013. Web. <>.

This fact sheet of Educational and Vocational Programs in New York State shares statistics that are in favor of education programs yet also exemplify the decrease in support.

Greenberg, Elizabeth, Eric Dunleavy, and Mark Kutner. Literacy Behind Bars: Results From the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy Prison Survey. 2007. Literacy Behind Bars: Results From the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy Prison Survey. National Center for Education Statistics. Web. <>.

This source reports the results of English literacy of adults in prison for the first time since 1992.

Lewin, Tamar. “Inmate Education Is Found To Lower Risk of New Arrest.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 16 Nov. 2001. Web. <>.

This source describes the benefits of education at correctional facilities.

Maher, Jane. “My Way Out of This Life Is An Education.” Women’s Studies Quarterly 32.1/2 (2004): 100-14. America: History and Life on the Web. Web. <>.

This source discusses how the educational opportunities through the Women’s Prison Education Partnership helped the inmates at the New York State Bedford Hills Correctional Facility.

Olian, Catherine, prod. “60 Minutes.” Maximum Security Education. CBS. New York, 15 Apr. 2007. Bard College. Web. <>.

This segment of the 60 Minutes episode on Maximum Security Education reports on the Bard Prison Initiative from its program at the Eastern Correctional Facility in New York State.

Policy Statement 15: Education and Vocation Training. Rep. The Council of State Government Justice Center, Web. <>.

This policy statement addresses the educational and vocational opportunities to inmates.

“Program Services-Education (Academics).” NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Web. <>.

This source lists and explains the education programs available in the correctional facilities of New York State.

United States. Cong. Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. 103d Cong., 2nd sess. Cong. Rept. H.R.3355. Washington, D.C.: U.S. G.P.O., 1994.

This source is the “Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994”.

One thought on “Research Proposal”

  1. As we discussed, this is a fruitful RQ but a richer alternative to help you frame your essay (especially for readers not familiar with the particular law) might be something like this: “How and why have prisoner’s access to higher ed changed in NYS from late 1960s to today?” If that’s your RQ, then your working thesis might do two things:
    a) summarize the longitudinal trends
    b) make a compelling argument that (if supported by further research) the 1994 law was most influential in this change

    When looking at search tools again, remember to start with keywords, and then if possible, see how librarians organized the subject terms for similar works. Of course, this only makes sense if you find one ideal source and need others like it.

    In addition to WorldCat and Google Scholar, consider Sociological Abstracts (academics on criminology and recidivism (use this term?)

    See also (this came up with keywords: prison + higher education)

Comments are closed.