Horizon Prison Initiative: Insights from participants

Dr. Sarah Lazzari and four of her Criminology students recently presented their research to the administration at Ohio Reformatory for Women (ORW). There were about 40 people in attendance, which included: the Board of Horizon Prison Initiative, employees from London Correctional Institution, volunteers within the Horizon Prison Initiative program, researchers and other administrators from Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, and about 20 women currently incarcerated at ORW.

Maddie Moore, Paige Collins, Logyn Chamberlin and Hope Kreais presented the work they started with Sarah in Spring of 2022. The group was asked to travel to London Correctional Institution to present the findings, and will be traveling to Chicago in March to present at the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

Horizon Prison Initiative has been within ODRC facilities for 20 years, but this is the first research to start looking at the effects of the program. The Heidelberg group administered surveys and conducted focus groups in Spring of 2023.

“We wanted to explore the importance of the program from the perspective of the incarcerated women. We also wanted to look at whether the program impacts criminogenic thinking, since it is designed to help women prepare for their transition back into the community,” Sarah said.

What did their research indicate? “We did find that women who had successfully completed at least one cycle of the program had lower levels of inattentiveness, need for control, cognitive immaturity and egocentrism,” she said. “This also meant that the overall Total Criminogenic Score (computed scale) was lower for the participants who had completed at least one cycle of Horizon Prison Initiative.”

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