Date of Award
Doctor of Education
Higher and Adult Education
The purpose of this research was to examine the vocational programs available to female inmates incarcerated in the only female prison in a southern state, to explore these inmates' thoughts, feelings, and perspectives about the programs available to them, and to determine whether these programs are unintentionally gender-biased or gender-stereotypical. Additionally, data were collected reflecting the vocational education instructors' thoughts, feelings, and perspectives on their programs as well as on the the inmate students enrolled in their programs. Additionally, detailed vocational program descriptions were obtained from the facility. These documents provided information about the kinds of jobs available for each vocational program and the necessary training for employment in these jobs. Once the jobs were defined, the U.S.. Census data were utilized in order to identify the percentage of women and men employed in each occupation. Those occupations identified by the Census in which women made up the dominant population (51% or above) were classified as "pink." Those occupations identified by the Census in which men made up the dominant population (51% or higher) were classified as "blue." Study participants included the instructors from the institution's vocational programs and inmates who were currently enrolled in or recently graduated from any of the vocational programs offered. This study revealed three themes common to the instructors and four themes common to the inmate students. The themes common to the instructors were 1) genuine love and affection for the students, 2) the importance of self-esteem building, and 3) the inmate student attitudes and efforts. The themes common to the inmate students were 1) school as a preferred environment, 2) positive attitudes about instructors, 3) self-esteem, and 4) attitudes about non-traditional classes. As the majority of the vocational programs offered at this institution are in the "pink" category, it was determined that the vocational programs offered at this institution do indeed appear to be unintentionally gender-biased or gender-stereotypical.
dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Burgdorf, Aimee Michelle, "Women in Prison: Planning the Getaway: Vocational Education in a Southern Women's Correctional Institution" (2012). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 616.