Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Dunaway, R. Gregory

Committee Member

May, David C.

Committee Member

Rader, Nicole E.

Committee Member

Haynes, Stacy H.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access



Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Sociology


Using data collected at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility, this research aimed to examine factors that affect the likelihood of re-offending by testing two models: a specific deterrence model and a proposed comparable capital model. Specifically, this research aimed to examine how economic, cultural, and social capital in the community, as well as in prison, affect self-reported likelihood of re-offending upon release, and to examine if these indicators are better suited for explaining offending as compared to those included in a deterrence model. By examining these effects, it was discovered that traditional deterrence and capital indicators alone do not provide a sufficient explanation of likelihood of re-offending. The proposed Capital and Punishment Model of Re-offending may provide a better way of conceptualizing offenders’ likelihood of re-offending upon release because it considers the effects of community and prison capital, while paying special attention to the effects of prior punishment.