Faculty member's doctoral research created transformative opportunity for inmates

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

"Graduation day" on July 13 for inmates at River City Correctional Center was the result of a unique project developed and supported by Cincinnati State.

Ten inmates at River City Correctional Center in Camp Washington earned post-secondary credentials and promised jobs as part of a doctoral dissertation case study project developed by Brian Jaynes, program chair for Supply Chain Management at Cincinnati State.

The inmates, all women, attended a 45-contact-hour Supply Chain and Logistics course delivered on site at River City by Marty Grogan, an adjunct instructor in the Supply Chain Management program.

By successfully completing the course, the women earned a credential from the Manufacturing Skill Standard Council as Certified Logistics Associates and Technicians. They will also receive college credits for the course if they enroll at Cincinnati State to further their education.

Nehemiah Manufacturing, a distributor of Procter & Gamble products, has offered the women jobs upon their release. In addition, the project received funding support from PNC Foundation and Ohio Jobs and Family Services, as well as implementation support from Hamilton County Office of Re-Entry and Cincinnati State.

“All of the different partners have been very supportive,” Jaynes said.

The case study project was several years in the making.

When Jaynes joined Cincinnati State in 2015, he had already started working toward an Ed.D. at Northern Kentucky University. He had been considering another dissertation topic when he came across an article about the State of New York’s efforts to offer associate-degree-level courses in prisons.

“I was intrigued with the notion of how an educational credential might reduce recidivism,” Jaynes said. “I went to my doctoral committee at NKU and said I’d like to change my topic.”

Jaynes' dissertation measures the effectiveness of two well-known theories of change in developing “an academic career pathway model for returning citizens.” The River City project is a “qualitative, descriptive case study” for the dissertation.

One of the theories the dissertation analyzes is Harvard Professor and management guru John Kotter’s 8-Step Process for Leading Change, which lays out a pathway from “creating a sense of urgency” to “instituting change.”

The other theory is the University of Kansas Community Toolbox, which includes 16 key activities in fostering community change, from “creating and maintaining partnerships” to “sustaining the work or initiative.”

Jaynes is now writing his dissertation with a goal of completing it by Spring 2019.

“I feel that the River City pilot project has turned into a resounding success,” Jaynes said. “Bottom line, it makes a difference in people’s lives and they don’t go back to where they were.”

You can view some of Local 12 TV's coverage of the River City project at https://local12.com/news/local/women-in-jail-earn-certification-and-get-jobs-when-released.

(Article contributed by Richard Curtis)

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