Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Criminology and Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Barbara Koons-Witt


The current study examines the state of prison programming across the U.S. and whether availability of and participation in prison programs varies by gender and other key factors such as the interaction effects of race and gender, self-identified needs, and facility-level characteristics. Using Morash, Rucker, and Haarr's (1994) study, the last major study comparing prison programming for men and women in U.S. prisons, as a guide, I explore the current state of prison programming using national-level survey data. The results indicate that gender does indeed matter for both prison programming availability and participation with women having more programs available to them and participating in more programs than men. Moreover, the findings suggest that programming might be influenced by both stereotypical gender expectations and gender-responsive principles. The interactions of race and gender were also significant for at least one programming option in every domain examined. Results also indicated that inmates are being placed into programming based on self-identified needs, which is promising. Finally, facility-level characteristics are important factors for both program availability and participation.