Testing Prison Inmates for Entrepreneurial Aptitude


  • Matthew C. Sonfield Hofstra University
  • Robert J. Barbato Rochester Institute of Technology


A pilot study of prison inmates was conducted to measure their entrepreneurial aptitude, with the objective of determining whether self-employment training/or such inmates would be of value. Statistical analysis of the collected aptitude data , measured by Miner Sentence Completion Scale-Form T testing of task motivation, indicates that these inmates have such a propensity, at a level comparable to or higher than samples of currently practicing  entrepreneurs. Since a major cause of inmate recidivism is the inability of ex-convicts to obtain employment, then if prison inmates have significant entrepreneurial propensity, it follows that self-employment should be considered a valid alternative path for ex-convicts. Self-employment training would facilitate inmates’ movement along this path.  Further, and more probing, research is suggested.


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