Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

William E. Davis


Corrections administrators have long recognized the possibility of education as a method of creating a favorable change in incarcerated individuals. Through education the individual would be encouraged in his/her attempts to succeed within society. However, this feeling has been more of an intuitive notion rather than empirically determined. The goal of this dissertation has been the development of a model of recidivism prediction which could overcome the problems of subjectivity, inaccuracy, and invalidity found in many currently used methods of prediction. This investigation was designed to explore relationships between several educational variables and post-release behavior of criminal offenders. The results of this research support and confirm the positive relationship between education and recidivism. The elements of the social bond and differential association have proved in the past to be important predictors of future criminal activity. As indicators of recidivism, these two theoretical perspectives provide the foundation for a new model in correction reform. At the beginning of this investigation it was anticipated that the addition of education, income, and a measurement of the social bond, grounded in criminological theory (elements of the social bond and differential association), would significantly add to the predictive ability of recidivism. The approach used in this dissertation has been to develop the problem and then to apply appropriate educational and criminological theories and perspectives to solve the problem. Using meta-analysis as a method of mining the knowledge produced by numerous studies in the area of corrections education, the goal has been to utilize the additive power of these studies and the various approaches to solve a critical social problem rather than to develop a new social theory. The findings from this study suggest that criminologically grounded variables such as, education, income, and the social bond, previously applied to predict criminality can be successfully utilized to predict, and then ultimately prevent, continuation of an already existing criminal career. The end result can be applied to policy development that will aid in a reduction of prison populations.