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Therapeutic Community Prison Inmate Networks Study (TC-PINS)

This study examines the social networks of prison inmates in a prison drug and alcohol therapeutic community (TC).

Project Team

  • Principal Investigator: Derek Kreager, Ph.D., Department of Sociology & Criminology (
  • Co-Investigators: Gary Zajac, Martin Bouchard (SFU), George DeLeon, (NYU), Dana Haynie (OSU), David Schaefer (ASU), Michaela Soyer (Hunter), Jacob Young (ASU)

About the Project

  • The National Institute of Health made an award of $444,084 to Penn State to support this project, for the period August 1, 2015 – July 31, 2017.
  • Seed funding was provided by the Justice Center to support development of this project, including collection of pilot data.
  • This study is related to the PINS project discussed in the previous section and the R-PINS project under development, discussed under the Justice Center Supported Projects section.

    Research Questions

    • How does the informal inmate network structure relate to the diffusion of treatment outcomes in a prison-based therapeutic community?
    • How do inmates’ positions within the TC network structure relate to their treatment engagement and post-TC drug relapse and criminal recidivism?
    • How do informal inmate network structures influence offender reentry?

      Project Details

      • Project will focus on inmate social networks in a drug and alcohol treatment therapeutic community (TC) within a State Correctional Institution within the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.
      • Selection of a specific institution is still being finalized, with an initial wave of data collection anticipated for summer of 2016.
      • As with the PINS study, all inmates within a selected TC will be recruited for participation in computer assisted personal interviews.
      • Project has full support from the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.


        • This study will have important implications for understanding how inmate social networks influence inmate reentry as well as the dynamics of the prison therapeutic community setting.