Urrieta, L., Martin, K., & Robinson, C. (2011). “I am in School!”: African American Male Youth in a Prison/College Hybrid Figured World. The Urban Review,43(4), 491-506.
Educational programs are seen as a vehicle for improving the educational experiences and life outcomes for youthful offenders. In 1998 North Carolina started the Workplace and Community Transition Youth Offender Program (YOP). The program offers youth post-secondary educational courses. Our study examines 2007–2009 data from YOP youth participating in the program. Using students’ voices our study shows that YOP not only decreases recidivism drastically, but has a personal impact in the youth participants’ lives. YOP provides a space of change that is not prison or a traditional college. The hybrid figured world provides an opportunity for African American male youth to re/author themselves creating new hybrid identities. The youth author themselves as students versus inmates. These new identities and educational competencies have potentially long term benefits for youth offenders and for communities.
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