During his 26 years of incarceration, Jarrod earned several degrees (AA, BA, BS, MA) and had the privilege to administrate the onsite college program for over 12 years. Being a student and college program clerk helped him gain an insider’s perspective on the implementation and maintenance of postsecondary education programs in prison, as well as barriers to equity. Since his release in 2015, he earned an MS in Psychology, and applied to Ph.D. programs for three years, but was repeatedly denied due to his criminal background. Now, he is a Ph.D. student at Tulane University in the interdisciplinary City, Culture, Community department with a concentration in sociology, where he is studying Post Incarceration Syndrome, nosology (the history of psychiatric diagnoses), and community-engaged scholarship. To implement quality, equitable college prison programs, Jarrod emphasizes the need for including the voices of both formerly and currently incarcerated individuals.
Interests at the intersection of higher education and the criminal legal system
“My interests are the implementation of the Pell Grant, matters of racial and economic equity in prison college programs, and eliminating the barriers to admission to (and employment at) universities for formerly incarcerated individuals. I am also interested to learn and work with intersections I may not even be currently aware of.”
Expectations or goals for the Fellowship?
I am simply eager 1) to serve the cause of postsecondary education for the justice impacted and 2) to learn. At this point, I am uncertain whether I want to enter academia or work full time for an institution doing research and policy work for the justice impacted. I hope this fellowship will help me learn the larger arena of research and policy work at the intersection of higher education and the criminal legal system, therefore informing my future career decisions. I also want to learn more on policy work since I am uncertain if I will lean more toward being a researcher, a policy analyst, or the hybrid of the two. I am also interested in understanding where policy work begins and ends. Lastly, I am eager for the professional training, because I still feel a little rough around the edges—I understand that you don’t know what you don’t know.