Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.C.J. in Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Kimberly A. Kaiser

Second Advisor

Francis Boateng

Third Advisor

Linda Keena


University of Mississippi

Relational Format



Prison programming has been linked to reducing recidivism and re-incarceration, yet only a small percentage of prison programs are completed by inmates (Duwe, 2018). The demand in preparing inmates for reentry is crucial and ongoing. Studies have tried to understand the failure of prison program completion; however, research has not been aimed at specifically locating the internal and external factors that encourages this voluntary participation. This study examines internal and external motivation in order to find what factors influence inmates’ decision to pursue prison programs. This study contributes to link these factors to the programming types of religious, educational, treatment, and vocational. There are three major findings: 1) among all of the factors examined, program readiness was associated with the interest to all the programs types examined, 2) inmates were more willing to participate in programs that do not heavily impact or alter their behaviors, 3) bible study was the only program linked to procedural justice.

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