Current Research: Paul Bellair and Steve Lopez

The formerly incarcerated are our neighbors, co-workers, and fellow citizens. Few people understand their lives and struggles. This project creates a safe forum for formerly incarcerated citizens to tell the stories of their lives.

Between 2003-2005, Paul Bellair and his staff interviewed 250 individuals incarcerated in Ohio prisons. Now, Paul Bellair and Steve Lopez are following up with these individuals to conduct new interviews, documenting the course of their lives.

We never reveal the identities of those who contribute to our project.  

All participants are provided with a $50 Kroger gift card to compensate them for their time.

By participating, restored citizens gain the opportunity to give back and have their voices heard while remaining anonymous. Their stories help us educate others about the realities of returning citizens’ lives and the importance of opportunities and second chances. Our research also gives voice to returning citizens by sharing summaries of findings with policy makers.  Through this project, we seek to produce knowledge that can help restore returning citizens to happy and meaningful lives.

The project has been approved by Ohio State’s Institutional Review Board.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Paul Bellair at


Dr. Steve Lopez at