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Phi Theta Kappa Honors in Action

A research guide for the Honors in Action project completed by members of Phi Theta Kappa.

Prison education

(Based on Honors Study Topic To the Seventh Generation: Inheritance and Legacy)

Research question: "To what degree should the government fund education for inmates, and how can access of education in prison be improved within the next decade?"

  • To target government websites (for statistics or government-funded studies), add site:.gov to your Google search. 
  • Try the Directory of Open Access Journals for peer-reviewed articles freely available online: https://doaj.org/
  • If RVCC does not have access to full text of a needed article, use Interlibrary Loan to get it. Ask Janelle or another librarian if you need help.
  • Search the Internet, use Wikipedia, or utilize one of the library's Research Starter databases to learn more about your topic and look for synonyms and related terms to use in your searches.
  • Keywords to try/combine to create complex searches (presented in alphabetical order, not ranked by usefulness):
    • Agency
    • Allocation
    • Alternative
    • Arrest
    • "Associate's Degree"
    • "Bachelor's Degree"
    • Barrier
    • Bias
    • Budget
    • Certificate
    • Chaplain
    • College
    • Compulsory
    • Convict
    • Correction
    • Correspondance
    • Cost
    • Coursework
    • Criminal
    • "Criminal Justice"
    • Decriminalization
    • Degree
    • Diploma
    • Disparity
    • "Distance Education"
    • Education
    • Eliminate
    • Employment
    • Ethic* [will search for ethics, ethical, and anything that starts with that root]
    • Fees
    • "Financial Aid"
    • Fine
    • "First Step Act (FSA) of 2018"
    • Funding
    • Gender
    • "Higher Education"
    • Housing
    • Imprison
    • Incarceration
    • Incentive
    • Inmate
    • Jail
    • "Job Skills"
    • Jurisdiction
    • Justice
    • Juvenile
    • "Law Enforcement"
    • Lesson
    • "Life Sentence"
    • "Life Skills"
    • Literacy
    • Low-Income
    • Mandatory
    • "Mass Criminalization"
    • "Mass Incarceration"
    • Motivation
    • Nonviolent
    • Numeracy
    • Opposition
    • Overcriminalization
    • Overcrowding
    • "Pell Grant"
    • "Penal System"
    • Penitentiary
    • Personnel
    • Possession
    • Prison
    • "Prison Libraries"
    • Probation
    • Psycholog* [will search for psychology, psychological, and anything that starts with that root]
    • "Public Defender"
    • Punishment
    • Race
    • Recidivism
    • Regulation
    • Reentry
    • Reduction
    • Reform
    • Reinstate
    • Rehabilitation
    • Religious
    • Schooling
    • "Secondary Education"
    • Secular
    • Secure
    • Sentence
    • Sociolog* [will search for sociology, sociological, and anything that starts with that root]
    • "Staff Shortage"
    • Support
    • Systemic
    • Tax
    • "Tertiary Education"
    • Tuition
    • University
    • Violent
    • Vocational
    • "War on Drugs"
    • Zero-Tolerance


Recommended databases:

(Some of these may provide scholarly articles while others offer reference articles or popular sources. If you are not sure what kind of source you found, please ask Janelle or another librarian!)

Web resources

Many of these are not scholarly sources, but they may give you new ideas and keywords.