Date of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Type

Exemplary Work - Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

First Advisor

Mark Allman


The American criminal justice system holds almost 2.3 million people in 1,719 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 1,852 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,163 local jails, and 80 Indian Country jails as well as in military prisons, immigration detention facilities, civil commitment centers, state psychiatric hospitals, and prisons in the U.S. territories. The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Ex-convicts express that transitioning back into society, as well as finding employers willing to hire former inmates, is a difficult task. In this capstone, we will look at prison reform from the 1800s-to-today, we will determine which roles retributive and restorative justice play in our criminal justice system, we will recognize the current implications of our current correctional system, we will engage in statistics regarding employment and homelessness rates, we will reminisce on personal experiences as an intern in a correctional facility, and lastly, we will look into programming, educational services, and professional development opportunities for inmates while serving their sentences. To understand social justice ideals, it is necessary to recognize that our nation consists of various structures, policies, and practices that either help or harm the human population. To create a just society, we must find ways in which our nation can find, and enforce, institutional practices that allow all humans to equally flourish in daily life.