Student Research on the Women in Pre-Release

Student Research on the Women in Pre-Release



Joann Puckett, a Native American student at the Montana Tech College of Technology, has recently completed a qualitative research project on the loneliness experience by women confined in a pre-release center. The College of Technology is recognizing her work with the publication of a research poster which will be prominently displayed at the college.

When inmates leave our Montana prisons, many move to pre-release centers – sort of half-way houses intended to offer them help and support prior to being fully discharged from the prison system. Notwithstanding the crimes they committed, the better the issues experienced during their pre-release time can be understood, the greater the chance that the prisoners will successfully re-integrate into society and not re-offend.

“I found in my research that women experience significant loneliness during their time in pre-release,” said Ms. Puckett. “They are separated from their friends and families, especially their children. I know this not only because of my research, but because there was a time in my life when I had to spend time in pre-release. I know what it is like and how difficult it is.”

Ms. Puckett’s research, conducted at the Butte Pre-Release Center, found that women in pre-release use four mechanisms as they cope with their feelings of loneliness: learning to find self-identity, learning to find self-acceptance, learning to make good decisions, and learning how to change for the future.

“Joann has shown tremendous strength and determination in her commitment to this study,” said Dr. Elyse Lovell, Faculty Sponsor for this student research. “It is with certitude that she pursues her education and writing, and in turn her research is giving back and making positive contributions to society.”

“One of the most profound things I learned in this process,” said Ms. Puckett. “Is that changes are challenges that we cannot deny; they remain with us throughout our lifetime.”

For any further information about this issue or any issue pertaining to Montana Tech, please contact Dr. John M. Garic at 406-496-3714 or Amanda Badovinac at 406-496-4828.