RICHMOND, Va. (Oct. 13, 2014) – The Virginia Commonwealth University School of Education is launching an international periodical featuring new research and practitioner papers on issues relevant to prison education and prisoner reentry. The Journal of Prison Education and Reentry (JPER), a peer-reviewed, open-access periodical, launches Oct. 13, timed to coincide with International Day of Education in Prison.
JPER is co-founded and managed by VCU faculty and graduate students, in collaboration with educators from Bergen, Norway; Dublin, Ireland; San Bernardino, California; and Sheffield, United Kingdom. This marks the first new international journal to be supported and housed in part in the VCU School of Education.
“This journal is an important expression of international collaboration between a number of nations,” said Leila Christenbury, Ed.D., chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning, which co-produces the journal with the University of Bergen, Norway. “And in particular in the United States, with over 7.3 million individuals incarcerated, on probation, or on parole, the needs of this population are pressing. Using the power of education, especially literacy-related projects, reentry can be achieved, and the Journal of Prison Education and Reentry will be an important voice in the field.”
The online nature of JPER allows a much broader audience to access the current research on prison education and reentry, even for distant institutions and small communities. The audience for this periodical includes prison educators, scholars, counselors, administrators, policymakers, alternative educators and others interested in prisons, reentry, community and reform. JPER recognizes the interdependence of researchers and practitioners and will showcase published articles from both groups.
“Finding better ways to address incarceration, reentry and program needs is an important field of inquiry,” said Carolyn Eggleston, Ph.D., executive director of the California State San Bernardino Reentry Initiative. “There is a scarcity of published work and research about prison or correctional education, as it is often not recognized as a field of education. The additional focus on reentry bridges the gap between inside — prison — and outside — upon release — programs for people coming back to their communities. Research on these topics is not always available. The journal is intended to fill this gap.”