Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
Sociology and Anthropology
James J. Nolan
During the spring of 2006, a new program was instated at West Virginia University that provided an arena for undergraduate Criminology majors and residents of a correctional facility to discuss and learn about issues within the criminal justice system. The class took place at a correctional facility. After leaving the class, the students were expected to write a reflection paper on the discussions that took place within the classroom to return at the next session. The purpose of this research is to conduct a thorough analysis of the reflection papers of each student across the 15 weeks. The findings suggest that there are vast differences between the groups' opinions with regards to the social construction of "criminal" labels. More specifically, it is harder for the residents of the prison to change their perceptions their "criminal" identities. On the other hand, the findings show that there is little difference in opinion about the purposes of prison---or its relative effectiveness---between the two groups.
DuBois, Kate J., "Bidding at the prison auction house: An exchange of prisoners' and university students' perceptions of crime and punishment" (2009). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 838.