Date of Graduation

12-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Sociology (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Sociology and Criminal Justice

Advisor

Casey T. Harris

Committee Member

Shaun Thomas

Second Committee Member

Rodney Engen

Abstract

Under the veil of mass incarceration many of the prisoners will be released, then later readmitted for another crime or parole/probation violations, which falls under the definition of recidivism. Criminologist have attempted to shed light on indicators that explain why some individual prisoners have higher likelihoods than others. I attempt to understand the specific context (at the county level) in which prisoners are released in one point in time and see if the context in which they are released can help explain their likelihoods of recidivating, specifically in the context of religious and civic organizations. I use data from the American Community Survey for key contextual level variables, InfoGroup for religious and civic organizational density, and National Corrections Reporting Program for individual level characteristics (and to track prisoner reentry). The results indicate that there is a relationship between religious organizational density and a decreased likelihood of recidivating.

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