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Research Findings

The DOC conducts first-rate research that provides evidence on which to improve correctional policy and practice.

For example, studies have found:

More frequent and recent prison visitation, especially from fathers, siblings, in-laws, and clergy, is associated with reduced recidivism.
  • Dr. Grant Duwe and Dr. Valerie Clark (2011)
  • The prison visitation study was published in Criminal Justice Policy Review, a peer-reviewed academic journal
Prison-based chemical dependency treatment reduces the risk of recidivism by 17-25 percent.
The Minnesota Comprehensive Offender Reentry Plan (MCORP), a prisoner reentry pilot project, was found to be successful in reducing recidivism.
  • Dr. Grant Duwe (2012)
  • The MCORP study was published in Justice Quarterly and was the 2013 recipient of the Donal MacNamara Outstanding Journal Publication Award by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.
Prison-based sex offender treatment reduces the risk of sexual recidivism by 27 percent.

Conducting Research at the Minnesota DOC

Research proposals on Minnesota’s correctional population (including incarcerated offenders as well as those on probation or supervised release) may require a review by the Minnesota Department of Corrections’ Human Subjects Review Board (HSB). Due to existing resource limitations, however, the HSB no longer reviews student research projects. Interested researchers should read Minnesota Research Policy 102.100 and submit the corresponding forms to the Research Director at for consideration.

Research Policy 102.100

Research Request Form

The HSB meets quarterly to review research requests and makes recommendations to the Research and Evaluation Advisory Committee (REAC) regarding project approval. Each proposal must be approved by REAC and then is submitted to DOC Administration for a final decision. Requests must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the quarterly review date. Due to the multi-level review process, decisions may take several weeks. Please consider the length of time a review may take when submitting a proposal.

Please direct any questions or requests for further information to


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