Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Educational Administration


Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Perry, Andre


There has been a significant increase in the nation's female incarceration rate. During 2006, the number of women in prison increased by approximately 4.5 %. The increase of female prisoners from 2005 to 2006 was larger than the average growth rate of 2.9% from 2000 through 2005. Women ages 35 to 39 made up the largest percentage of female prisoners. At the end of 2006, females made up 7.2% of the prison population under State or Federal jurisdiction, up from 6.7% in 2000. Oklahoma had the highest female incarceration rate in the nation, approximately 129, 000 inmates; followed by Louisiana, which incarcerated 108, 000 female inmates (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2006). The purpose of this study was to describe how college- educated incarcerated females in a state prison perceived their incarceration experiences. The central research question was: how do college-educated incarcerated females perceive their incarceration experience? Data were collected by conducting interviews with nine women who had a minimum of two years of college-level coursework from a regionally accredited college or university and who did not have a history of drug abuse. Findings suggest that while there are negative aspects of college-educated females' incarceration experiences, the totality of the experience was not negatively perceived.


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