UMSL researchers examine change in inmate employment, impact sourcing

UMSL researchers Mary Lacity and Joe Rottman recently published a study on impact sourcing and employing prison inmates.

When most people think of inmates with jobs, they might picture them making license plates or working in the kitchen. But that’s no longer a  prisoner’s only option.

University of Missouri–St. Louis researchers Mary Lacity and Joe Rottman recently published “Impact Sourcing: Employing Prison Inmates to Perform Digitally-enabled Business Services” in Communications of the Association for Information Systems.

Lacity, Curators’ Professor of Information Systems at UMSL, and Rottman, associate professor of information systems at UMSL, co-wrote the study with Erran Carmel, professor of information technology at American University in Washington, D.C.

The researchers studied impact sourcing, which is the practice of hiring and training marginalized individuals with fewer prospects for good employment. They spoke exclusively with prisoners and officers at a federal prison in Elkton, Ohio.

“We found that prison employment had positive immediate effects on the inmates’ lives while they were in prison,” they wrote.

The full study can be viewed here.

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