Women and Gender Studies
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Mason Undergrads Spend the Summer Doing Research in Prisons

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Together Alone reseach project members Sabrine Baiou, Casey Tabas, Shannon Magnuson, Danielle Rudes, Kaley Regner, Liana Shivers and Karlie Berry (not pictured, Elizabeth Rosen)

This summer, six undergraduate students conducted research in three prisons as members of Dr. Danielle Rudes’ Together Alone: Solitary Confinement Project.  Undergrads Sabrine Baiou, Casey Tabas, Kaley Regner, Liana Shivers, Karlie Berry and Elizabeth Rosen worked with professors Danielle Rudes (Criminology, Law and Society), Angela Hattery (Women/Gender Studies), Earl Smith (Sociology) and doctoral students Shannon Magnuson, Caitlin Kanewske, and Lina Marmolejo (Criminology, Law and Society).

The Together Alone project studies restricted housing units in three prisons (two male and one female facility) and the research focuses on organizational change, risk and theories of punishment.  For their own sub-projects, the Mason students (in teams of two) each developed a research question to explore.  Karlie and Elizabeth's specific project considered inmate perceptions of punishment versus protection, Liana and Kaley focused on inmate perceptions of empathy, and Casey and Sabrine examined identity changes among inmates as they move from freedom, to prison, and then into solitary units.

The students worked all summer through funding graciously provided by the OSCAR office at Mason. The students showcased the results of their research with poster presentations at the OSCAR Celebration of Summer Scholarship, and were honored with one of three top poster/project awards. Two of the students (Sabrine and Kaley) will continue working in the Undergraduate Research Lab at the Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence (ACE) with Dr. Rudes this fall to further hone their research skills. 

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