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MENDING A DETRIMENTAL CRISIS: PROPOSAL TO REDUCE RECIDIVISM THROUGH THE INCORPORATION OF COMPUTER SKILLS AND CODING IN PRISONS

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With a prison population that has grown to 1.4 million, an imprisonment rate of 419 per 100,000 U.S. residents, and a recidivism rate of 52.2% for males and 36.4% for females, the United States is facing a crisis. Currently, no

With a prison population that has grown to 1.4 million, an imprisonment rate of 419 per 100,000 U.S. residents, and a recidivism rate of 52.2% for males and 36.4% for females, the United States is facing a crisis. Currently, no sufficient measures have been taken by the United States to reduce recidivism. Attempts have been made, but they ultimately failed. Recently, however, there has been an increase in experimentation with the concept of teaching inmates basic computer skills to reduce recidivism. As labor becomes increasingly digitized, it becomes more difficult for inmates who spent a certain period away from technology to adapt and find employment. At the bare minimum, anybody entering the workforce must know how to use a computer and other technological appliances, even in the lowest-paid positions. By incorporating basic computer skills and coding educational programs within prisons, this issue can be addressed, since inmates would be better equipped to take on a more technologically advanced labor market.<br/>Additionally, thoroughly preparing inmates for employment is a necessity because it has been proven to reduce recidivism. Prisons typically have some work programs; however, these programs are typically outdated and prepare inmates for fields that may represent a difficult employment market moving forward. On the other hand, preparing inmates for tech-related fields of work is proving to be successful in the early stages of experimentation. A reason for this success is the growing demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 11 percent between 2019 and 2029. This is noteworthy considering the national average for growth of all other jobs is only 4 percent. It also warrants the exploration of educating coders because software developers, in particular, have an expected growth rate of 22 percent between 2019 and 2029. <br/>Despite the security risks of giving inmates access to computers, the implementation of basic computer skills and coding in prisons should be explored further. Programs that give inmates access to a computing education already exist. The only issue with these programs is their scarcity. However, this is to no fault of their own, considering the complex nature and costs of running such a program. Accordingly, this leaves the opportunity for public universities to get involved. Public universities serve as perfect hosts because they are fully capable of leveraging the resources already available to them. Arizona State University, in particular, is a more than ideal candidate to spearhead such a program and serve as a model for other public universities to follow. Arizona State University (ASU) is already educating inmates in local Arizona prisons on subjects such as math and English through their PEP (Prison Education Programming) program.<br/>This thesis will focus on Arizona specifically and why this would benefit the state. It will also explain why Arizona State University is the perfect candidate to spearhead this kind of program. Additionally, it will also discuss why recidivism is detrimental and the reasons why formerly incarcerated individuals re-offend. Furthermore, it will also explore the current measures being taken in Arizona and their limitations. Finally, it will provide evidence for why programs like these tend to succeed and serve as a proposal to Arizona State University to create its own program using the provided framework in this thesis.

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2021-05

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FOIA: The Lock and Key to Government Records

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The Freedom of Information Act (1966), an amendment altering Section Three of the Administrative Procedure Act (1964), outlines the rules and regulations for United States citizens to obtain federal government records. The act, written with the guidance of journalists, was

The Freedom of Information Act (1966), an amendment altering Section Three of the Administrative Procedure Act (1964), outlines the rules and regulations for United States citizens to obtain federal government records. The act, written with the guidance of journalists, was created for all members of the public, but with the intent that the press would be the primary users of the legislation. The authors of the act believed the press would utilize FOIA to enhance its ability to accomplish its duty of keeping the public informed. Now, 51 years after the act was passed into law, critics say FOIA has not satisfactorily allowed the press or the public in general to inform and be informed. Issues with demand rates, unorganized systems and subjective interpretations of the act have combined to lock information from public access through an act that was intended to be the key to it. The data from annual federal agency FOIA reports to the attorney general from 2008 to 2015 have indicated that, in multiple metrics, FOIA has increasingly struggled to fulfill and often has failed to provide records to requesting parties. These trends have inspired a discussion among journalists and right-to-information advocates about how to best resolve the issues that have contributed to them. Proposed solutions range from adjustments to requesters' approaches to the act, amendments to the act and even abandoning the act entirely in favor of constructing a new law.

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2016-12

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Gatekeeping practices of participants in a digital media literacy massive open online course (MOOC)

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Long before “fake news” dominated the conversation within and about the media, media literacy advocates have championed the need for media literacy education that provides the tools for people to understand, analyze, and evaluate media messages. That the majority of

Long before “fake news” dominated the conversation within and about the media, media literacy advocates have championed the need for media literacy education that provides the tools for people to understand, analyze, and evaluate media messages. That the majority of U.S. adults now consume news on social media underscores the importance for students of all ages to be critical users of media. Furthermore, the affordances of social media to like, comment, and share news items within one’s network increases an individual’s responsibility to ascertain the veracity of news before using a social media megaphone to spread false information. Social media’s shareability can dictate how information spreads, increasing news consumers’ role as a gatekeeper of information and making media literacy education more important than ever.

This research examines the media literacy practices that news consumers use to inform their gatekeeping decisions. Using a constant comparative coding method, the author conducted a qualitative analysis of hundreds of discussion board posts from adult participants in a digital media literacy Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) to identify major themes and examine growth in participants’ sense of responsibility related to sharing news information, their feeling of empowerment to make informed decisions about the media messages they receive, and how the media literacy tools and techniques garnered from the MOOC have affected their daily media interactions. Findings emphasize the personal and contextual nature of media literacy, and that those factors must be addressed to ensure the success of a media literacy education program.

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2018