Women, Prison and Cognition in Washington State


America Sanchez, Christine Henderson

Faculty Mentor(s)

Christine Henderson (Law & Justice)


There is a current need to construct gender-based reentry and rehabilitation correctional programs in Washington State. There are differences surrounding men’s and women’s correctional rehabilitation, such as women having more components that hinder the social support. On average, Washington State incarcerates 796 women per day in Washington’s two women’s state prisons – Washington State Correction Center for Women (WSCCW) and Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women (MCCCW). Both WSCCW and MCCCW have gender-based restorative rehabilitation programs. However, there are gaps in programming and research where the two Washington women’s prison rehabilitative models of personal responsibility are stifled. Future research is needed to examine how personal responsibility models, like prison writing programs, increase success in beliefs, behaviors, and past and future crime pathways. Women who are incarcerated in Washington State could benefit from the psychological actions or practices of gaining understanding through thought and experience that began earlier in life or pre-incarceration. Therefore, the researchers propose a qualitative exploratory approach based on a constructivist paradigm or worldview for the current research. The investigators propose using qualitative interview data collection methods to explore and understand the experiences, beliefs, thoughts, and ideas of implementing cognitive-based programming at WSCCW and MCCCW and pre and post reasoning to crime pathways. The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of mental gendered-based cognitive programming. This study aims to develop and create a gender-based cognitive model for pre-and post-incarceration at Washington State women’s prison WSCCW and MCCCW.

Keywords: Women’s Prisons, Washington State, Rehabilitation


5 thoughts on “Women, Prison and Cognition in Washington State”

  1. America,
    Great topic and overview of your upcoming project! one question that I have is how will your key words influence your inductive data analysis approach as it relates to key themes within your interview coding process?
    I wish you luck as you complete your study, nice job!

    1. Good morning Jaclyn L. Thank you so much for reviewing my SOURCE 2021 presentation. I appreciate your question.

      For my research, one of the essential items is to learn from the shared experiences. The keywords and key concepts helped define the interview questions along with those shared experiences. Condensing participants response into a summary format, establish links between evaluating the keywords, key ideas, interview questions, research objectives, and the summary findings will help develop the framework of those underlying structured experiences, which are hopefully evident from the themes and concepts highlighted from the interviews, known as the general inductive approach. My research aims to follow the inductive method, leading to analyzing the qualitative data, which will produce reliable and valid findings to develop the model or framework.

      I am excited to get started with my research. I have cleared IRB and, with my faculty mentor, will begin the interview process next month.

  2. Hi America,
    I really enjoyed learning about your presentation. I thought this topic was so interesting and you did a great job presenting this topic

    1. Good morning Sarah,

      Thank you so much for watching my presentation! I am glad you enjoyed the presentation and learned from it. Please let me know if you have any questions.

      Have a great day!

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