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With seed funding from the MSU S3 and MSU LAP grants, this project investigates if and how information and communication technologies currently feature in the prisoner reentry process. The project examines to which extent parolees are currently using ICTs and what for, as well as how ICTs could potentially improve the reentry process for parolees and parole officers alike.
Together with colleagues from the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice and the School of Social Work at MSU, the research team has conducted focus groups with parolees between April and June 2018. The goal of the study is to develop a framework in which ICTs could be used to improve reentry outcomes for parolees. The findings will inform a larger grant proposal to the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).
The team is led by Bibi Reisdorf, RV Rikard (Department of Psychology), and Jennifer Cobbina (School of Criminology and Criminal Justice). In addition, Tom Holt (Criminology) is involved in an advisory capacity. The team received research funding to hire two graduate research assistants, one from Criminology and one from Media and Information. The research team is currently in the process of publishing several papers from this pilot study and they will present preliminary results at the IAMCR conference in Madrid, Spain in July 2019.