Coalition Building on Campus: Creating and Maintaining Student Organizations for Students With Criminal Convictions

Coalition Building on Campus: Creating and Maintaining Student Organizations for Students With Criminal Convictions

James M. Binnall (California State University, Long Beach, USA) and Melissa Inglis (East Central University, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3056-6.ch006

Abstract

This chapter focuses on student organizations for those with criminal convictions. In particular, this chapter examines the challenges associated with creating and maintaining such organizations. Most pointedly, the authors offer advice and direction on how to navigate potential obstacles to forming student groups comprised of convicted students. To do so, this chapter will chronicle a failed organization and a successful organization, highlighting the potential benefits of formation, obstacles to formation, and methods for successfully overcoming barriers to formation. This chapter intends to serve as a guide for faculty and staff at universities seeking to expand the concept of inclusive education by establishing student organizations dedicated to the recruitment and advancement of students with criminal histories. In sum, this chapter is a process analysis informed by the perspectives of two faculty advisors to such student organizations from distinct cultural and political settings.
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Higher Education And Criminal Desistance

For most reentrants, higher education is not at the top of their list of priorities post-release or post-conviction. Instead, housing and employment are of primary concern. Having a stable place to reside and a job are the most crucial elements in the success or failure of the reentry population (Petersilia, 2003; Travis, 2005;). Still, the value of education cannot be overstated. For many reentrants, education can be the key to a secure, law-abiding life. Education facilitates successful reentry and criminal desistance 1) by prompting a pro-social shift in a system-impacted student’s sense of self and 2) by providing a system-impacted individual the opportunity for meaningful community engagement.

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