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An environment of service and volunteerism: The impact of the Purposeful Living Units Serve (PLUS) program on prisoners’ self-esteem and civic development
Jacquelyn Frank, Assistant Professor & Coordinator, Gerontology MA Program, Eastern Illinois University []

Keywords: Prisoner rehabilitation, self-esteem, civic development, Purposeful Living Units Serve (PLUS) program

Conference track: Community partnerships and outcomes

Format: Poster presentation

This year‐long study examines the impact of the Purposeful Living Units Serve (PLUS) program on a cohort of maximum-security inmates in Indiana. The Criminal Thinking Scales (CTS) instrument and Rosenberg Self‐Esteem Scale were administered at five intervals to measure changes in civic development and self‐esteem among participating inmates. This presentation discusses the construction and results of the study.

The PLUS program is a faith‐and character‐based community (connected to a particular cell house) that promotes alternatives to criminal thinking and behavior through various programs (life-skills, community service, etc.).

Over the years, the PLUS program has grown. Despite the proliferation of the PLUS program, there is an absence of research conducted on the rehabilitative impact on inmates who complete the program. The researcher examines the impact of PLUS on prisoners’ self‐esteem and civic development. The study addresses the research question: Does participation in the PLUS program reduce criminal rationalization and cold‐heartedness among inmates while simultaneously increasing their self‐esteem and sense of civic responsibility?

The researcher will present relevant literature and the ways in which data was collected and analyzed.

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