Few topics have been discussed more extensively or feverishly within correctional academic and professional circles in the past few decades than prisoner reentry. Although program and policy evaluations have been conducted, a lack of public support for prisoner reentry initiatives could undermine the sustainability of prisoner reentry as a large-scale movement. Interestingly, no multivariate, explanatory analyses of the correlates of support for prisoner reentry policies could be found in the literature. This omission is due in part to the absence of clear psychometric measures to assess support. The current study examines the data obtained from a sample of residents in a Midwestern state to determine the dimensionality of support for prisoner reentry interventions using both exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and ordinary least squares (OLS) regression. Specifically, our expectation is that the following three-factor structure will be identified: (a) support for transitional programs aimed at building skills and knowledge to handle the obstacles of the prison-to-community transitional process, (b) support for post-release transitional housing units, and (c) opposition to denying offenders housing opportunities. Our results support a three-factor model. The implications of these findings for future research are discussed.
Measuring Public Support for Prisoner Reentry Options