Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




The United Center is a community-based corrections center located in Middletown, Midwest. Funded by the Midwest Department of Corrections, and administered by local county government, it provides a sentencing alternative to the county's jail, and the state's prison system. Defined as a correctional "halfway-in house," the program provides offenders with employment and education related services, job placement, mental health services, and drug and alcohol counseling in a highly structured, but supportive environment. In operation since the early 1980's, the program has serviced some 400 offenders sentenced to short prison terms for low-level property and drug offenses. Compared to national rates of recidivism among state prison and probation releasees, the United Center cannot be regarded as anything less than a remarkable success. The effectiveness of the United Center in reducing offender recidivism measured in terms of postrelease arrest, provides major support for a reintegrative model of correctional practice. As such, it also provides an important refutation of the current "imprisonment reduces crime" ideology, which currently has a strangle-hold on the criminal justice system in the United States.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access