Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Genevieve L. Y. Arnaut, Psy.D., Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Michelle R. Guyton, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Michel Hersen, Ph.D., ABPP


This study describes the experiences of 17 men who recidivated and returned to an Oregon prison. Using a semi-structured interview format, the men were interviewed about their past experiences in prison, their experiences after release, and their experience of being incarcerated again. The interviews were then analyzed using a qualitative method, specifically grounded theory. The men’s responses were divided into two broad categories: The Prison Experience and The Outside Environment. Related to the prison experience, the men identified both negative and positive aspects of prison. When they discussed life outside of prison the men described reactions to their release, lifestyle choices, and lack of institutional support. The results both supported and added to findings reported in previous research. Directions for future research are recommended, including larger scale studies and utilizing the findings to develop hypotheses for more focused studies.