Prison Education

Current Projects

The Carceral Tower

I am writing a book called The Carceral Tower: Prison Education in the Age of Mass Incarceration, which builds upon my dissertation research. I argue that prison education fails to be as effective as imagined because incarcerated students have their career aspirations and agency constrained and are afforded few legal protections and opportunities in the labor market after prison. I build this argument using a combination of survey data, budgets, legislative and agency documents, qualitative interviews with 50 formerly incarcerated men, and an experimental audit study of 1,500 employers in five states. I demonstrate how constrained agency and inadequate legal protections and opportunities converge to undermine the rehabilitative and educational efforts of returning citizens. In addition to the costs to returning citizens, The Carceral Tower highlights how this policy failure costs us all. 

Education Justice Tracker (EJT) for Higher Education in Prison Providers

the Cornell Prison Education Program in evolving its incarcerated learner database into a sharable digital tool, while developing models for using this open-source software to improve learner outcomes.

12/2022 - 12/2024

Published Research

2022. “Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don’t: How Formerly Incarcerated Men Navigate the Labor Market with Prison Credentials.Criminology 60(3): 455-479.

2020. “Alleviating the Mark of a Criminal Record: Prison Programming and Post-Incarceration Employment.Agenda for Social Justice: Solutions for 2020. (eds.) Glenn W. Muschert, Kristen M. Budd, Michelle Christian, and Robert Perrucci. Bristol, UK: Policy Press. (pp. 115-126)