Taryn VanderPyl

Copyright © Taryn VanderPyl. All rights reserved. 

My overarching research interest involves prioritizing the voices of the individuals directly affected by the criminal and juvenile justice systems. I strive to do work with the people involved, rather than about them.

Within this arena, my work centers on the following:

Prison labor programs – I am currently exploring various issues within prison labor programs that include: trying to gain or maintain dignity while being bombarded with messages and feelings of shame; value of life and safety decisions made by the administration; exploitation versus rehabilitation in terms of pay and duties in these programs; and whether and/or how the experience in these programs affects reentry and recidivism.

Learning directly from youth – By exploring the submissions to a national writing program for incarcerated youth, I have been able to learn how they experience reentry/transition legislation, the school-to-prison pipeline, relationships with their mothers, toxic individualism, messages of materialism, disproportionate representation of racial minority youth with disabilities in the system, learning employability skills, and more.

Easing reentry – I am continually looking at interventions within and legislation concerning juvenile and adult corrections that affect reentry and recidivism, as well as addressing social hostility toward those with justice system involvement.