3MT 2024 Finalist Alexandra Gagnon

Alexandra Gagnon

2024 First Place Winner

2024 People's Choice Award Winner

Sociology, Social Sciences + Humanities

Remand, Release, Reconvict

Introduce yourself

I am a Masters student in the Department of Sociology. I obtained my Hons. B.A. in Sociology at MacEwan University in 2023. I conduct research from the Centre for Criminological Research and am supervised by Dr. Sandra Bucerius. My research interests include deviance, reintegration, public criminology, and the sociology of law.

What are you researching and what do you hope comes out of your research?

I am part of the University of Alberta Prison Project. We are leading the first systematic Canadian study on formerly incarcerated people's re-entry experience by conducting interviews and surveys in Western Canadian provincial institutions with approximately 800 incarcerated people. We will follow up with them six times during their first year of release from prison. From this research, we will learn what challenges formerly incarcerated people face in their re-entry to society and create evidence-based policy recommendations to end the cycle of reoffending.

How does presenting a Three Minute Thesis (3MT) help you to explain your research to the public?

Participating in 3MT allowed me to think through my research and condense it into a concise three-minute presentation. 3MT also encouraged me to think about my research through a public lens and develop strategies to communicate my work to a broad audience. The 3MT process helped me refine my communication skills and allowed me to share my research with people outside of my discipline.

What inspires you to do research?

My inspiration to conduct research comes from a strong desire to address social injustices and tackle complex societal problems. I am motivated by the opportunity to innovate interventions and influence policy. Through this research, I aim to create meaningful change by developing evidence-based solutions that improve outcomes for people involved in the criminal justice system.

What are three key words important to your 3MT?

Recidivism, Re-integration, Change

How does your research impact local, provincial, or global communities?

The findings from this research will aid in reducing recidivism rates and promote rehabilitation within the criminal justice system by informing policy reforms at the local, provincial, and federal levels. This can lead to improved community support networks and programs for individuals re-entering society post-incarceration. Economically, this research demonstrates potential cost savings through investment in preventive measures and rehabilitation programs, benefiting communities and governments. Additionally, it contributes to broader discussions about social justice and equity, advocating for marginalized populations within the criminal justice system. The findings from this study will contribute to a growing global conversation on the over-incarceration of marginalized populations in Western nations and how we can work towards ending the cycle of reoffending.

If you had to dedicate your research to anyone from the past, present, or future, who would it be and why?

My research is dedicated to the people impacted by the cycle of reoffending. I am committed to advocating for their needs, amplifying their voices, and working towards creating a more just and supportive criminal justice system.