Every Year 600,000 people reenter society from correctional institutions (Gunnison, 2013). Research suggests that ex-offenders find it difficult to obtain employment after they are released because of low skills and of stigma (cite). This project examines the effectiveness of correctional programs in helping ex-offenders obtain the necessary skills for later employment. Becker’s Labeling Theory, Goffman’s concept of stigma, and General Strain Theory by Agnew are used to explain ex-offenders’ experiences. In depth interviews were conducted with a snowball sample of seven ex-offenders and three courthouse officials. The questions used for each of the interviews were drawn from literature on offender reentry and correctional programming. The interviews were transcribed into data deductively through the literature and theory chapter of this research and inductively with the personal experiences. The findings suggest that programs can be effective, especially substance abuse treatment and halfway-houses. However, prison and reentry programs alone are not enough because of the severe stigma and labeling that ex-offenders experience.


Nurse, Anne


Sociology and Anthropology


Criminology | Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance | Work, Economy and Organizations


correctional programs, reentry, employment, stigma, label theory, general strain theory, substance abuse, correctional institution

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2015 Anthony T. Durkin