Kent Trumbull to Offer Bachelor’s Program at Trumbull Correctional Institution

CHAMPION TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Starting this fall, Kent State University at Trumbull will offer those incarcerated at Trumbull Correctional Institution the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree.

The campus has partnered with local foundations, LaunchNet Kent State and Sinclair Community College in Dayton to offer a baccalaureate in technical and applied studies. 

“We chose the BTAS with entrepreneurship training because it is difficult for individuals with felonies to get hired by employers,” said Kristenne Robison, a professor of sociology, criminology and justice studies, in a statement. “By developing their entrepreneurial mindset and skills, as well as putting credentials in their hands, graduates of the program can start a business, pursue funding for their entrepreneurial efforts or offer value to local employers.”

Sinclair has offered a program at the prison offering an associate degree in business management, with the first graduates set to complete the program later this year.

A 2013 study by The Rand Corp. found that people taking part in education programs while incarcerated were 43% less likely to reoffend compared to those who did not participate. 

“As a public institution, a program like this helps Kent State fulfill its mission of ‘transform[ing] lives and communities through the power of discovery, learning and creative expression in an inclusive environment,” said Kent State Trumbull interim dean Daniel Palmer.

Work on the program at Trumbull Correctional Institution began in January 2020. The development process has included Robison, Kent State executive director of foundation relations Benjamin Tipton, Trumbull campus director of philanthropy Dave Smith, Burton D. Morgan Foundation President Deborah Hoover, Raymond John Wean Foundation President Jennifer Roller, The Youngstown Foundation President Lynnette Forde, Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley President Shari Harrell and representatives of The Thomases Family Endowment.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.