Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects



Additional Departmental Affiliation


Document Type



Prior research indicates that completion of prison programs significantly decreases recidivism amongst offenders. This research classifies prison programs as an aspect of Social Bond Theory to determine if these types of programs improve the recidivism rate. Social Bond Theory has four elements: commitment (time invested into education or career), attachment (relationships with family and friends), involvement (time spent in activities outside of crime), and belief (agreement with social norms). Research articles were compiled from 2000-2015, published and unpublished, with a three year recidivism rate or less (several exceptions were made), and a sample size of greater than 50. An odds ratio meta-analysis was performed to statistically strengthen the data and prove significance. This research is beneficial in quantifiably showing that social bond oriented prison programs reduce recidivism. Therefore, more programs can follow this model and result in more permanent releases from prison. This can lead to lowered prison populations, less government spending on prisons, and improved community and familial relations.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Holli Drummond


Criminology and Criminal Justice | Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance | Theory, Knowledge and Science