Leisure functioning and rehabilitation of individuals approaching release from prison
Abstract: This doctoral dissertation examines the relationship between leisure functioning and the rehabilitation status of 281 prisoners approaching their reentry to society after incarceration in the State of Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC). This reentry process includes substance-abuse-treatment Therapeutic Community (TC) programs and the general-population reentry process. In this study, leisure is conceptualized as a state of mind, using variables such as leisure functioning, perception of freedom, and intrinsic motivation. The study is correlational in design, with both quantitative and qualitative results and analyses. The first data source, The Leisure and Rehabilitation Survey, consists of questions created by the researcher, combined with two leisure- and free-time-based scales, and a progress-in-rehabilitation scale. A second source of data, gathered from prison records, includes forensic and demographic variables. A noteworthy finding of the study was the statistically significant relationship between leisure functioning and rehabilitation. In addition, the multiple regression analysis confirmed that, when holding constant forensic and demographic factors, the leisure-functioning components made a statistically significant contribution to status in rehabilitation. The qualitative analysis provided knowledge about the nature and use of leisure time in prison, as well as the meaning and value placed on leisure by prisoners in relation to their rehabilitation. The study's findings support a strengths-based view of each individual, which sees the prisoner as someone who has the potential for rehabilitation and change.