Document Type

Honors Paper




Dr. Robert Kraft

First Committee Member

Dr. Robert Kraft

Second Committee Member

Dr. Leesa Kern

Third Committee Member

Dr. Jonathan DeCoster


attitudes toward prisoners, forgiveness, discrimination, punitiveness

Subject Categories

Criminology | Psychology


The United States has the largest prison population in the world and it just seems to keep growing (Tsai & Scommegna 2012). The current research focuses on attitudes toward prisoners and how that may influence someone’s likelihood of returning to prison. Attitudes toward prisoners was measured using the Attitudes Toward Prisoners scale (ATP). The research hypotheses are as follows: 1) females and people of color will have higher original ATP scores than males and whites; 2) people who have experienced discrimination and/or have some connection to the prison system will have higher original ATP scores than those who have not; 3) that people who viewed the Bryan Stevenson Common Book Convocation will have higher original ATP scores than those who did not view the convocation; 4) the scores for the Tendency to Forgive scale (TTF) and for the ATP will be positively related (when one score is higher, the other score will also be higher); 5) watching the humanizing videos will increase the scores when taking the second ATP. There was a relationship between race, gender, discrimination, and viewing the Bryan Stevenson common book convocation, but none of those relationships were significant. However, watching the humanizing videos and having an acquaintance in prison were significant predictors of ATP scores.