Human Research Ethics Board can now review and approve research involving incarcerated people

The Human Research Ethics Board at SUNY New Paltz, which reviews all human subjects research conducted by members of the SUNY New Paltz community, is pleased to announce that they can now evaluate and approve research studies that include incarcerated people as participants.

This change is the result of a multi-year effort that makes it possible for our students, faculty, and staff to plan and conduct research studies with people in prison.

To make this possible, the HREB developed campus policies in accordance with federal regulations that classify incarcerated individuals as a “vulnerable population,” because their ability to make an informed and voluntary decision to participate in research may be compromised.

To create opportunities for this kind of research, the College has recruited Lila McDowell, deputy director at Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison in Ossining, New York, to serve on the board as a prisoner advocate.

McDowell received her Ph.D. in Education from Oxford University and has worked in higher education for incarcerated people since 2009. She has been employed by Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison since December 2016. She has taught as an adjunct assistant professor at Taconic Correctional Facility and at John Jay College. Her experience working in education for incarcerated people and familiarity with the prison environment make her an ideal prisoner advocate for our campus.

In her role with the College, McDowell has joined the Human Research Ethics Board as a full member and serves as a voice on behalf of incarcerated men and women in the responsible conduct of any study.

More information about SUNY New Paltz’s Human Research Ethics Board can be found here.