Dr. Olaghere recently received a College of Liberal Arts Research Award  CLARA  for her research project entitled, Legitimacy in Corrections at a Time of Crisis: Perspectives from Incarcerated Individuals. Procedural justice and legitimacy are important concepts that help us examine the fairness and soundness of our legal and criminal justice systems, and to a larger extent our democracy and the enfranchisement of marginalized and vulnerable populations. To date, most criminological scholarship focuses on the legal decision-making and discretionary actions of police officers and the resulting impact on perceived legitimacy and public compliance.

Dr. Ogalhere s study seeks to add to existing research in the areas of procedural justice and legitimacy in corrections. The study will involve archival research and a qualitative content analysis and latent class analysis of approximately 160 unsolicited letters from incarcerated individuals in the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. The study will draw on these letters to guide our understanding and encoding of the letters about the direct impact and collateral consequences of political expediency in decision-making about parole or conditional release from prison. The findings should illuminate important theoretical and policy implications for decision-making in times of political crisis, the process of release, and the broader reentry context.

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