Faculty Project Proposal Summary

Calendar Year 2014 Program



Faculty Name & Department/School:  Michelle Inderbitzin, School of Public Policy



Research Project Title:  Media Images and Public Opinion of Prisons and Prisoners



Project Overview: 

The purpose of this project is to examine media images and news coverage of prisons and prisoners in the United States, with particular focus on Oregon and the west coast.  We will use news stories and public comments on those news stories as our data, and we will develop an analysis of images portrayed and public opinion of prisons and prisoners.  Topics within the analysis will likely include ideas of rehabilitation, punishment, victims’ rights, education, and prisoners’ return to the community.


What skills will students obtain in this project? 

Working closely with Professor Inderbitzin, students will learn to collect, organize, and analyze original data from public news sources. Students will also read peer-reviewed criminology articles to broaden their understanding of the topic and learn what other scholars have found in research in similar areas.  To supplement their research and education, students may also be able to accompany Professor Inderbitzin in one or more of her regular visits to the Oregon State Penitentiary (the state’s only maximum-security prison) and Hillcrest Youth Correctional Facility.  If interested, students may have the opportunity to present results of this research in a public forum.


Student research tasks:



Number of hours per week expected of student: 6-10 hours per week (timing will be flexible to fit the student’s needs)




Download student application HERE

Back to Main Page HERE