A prisoner is defined as any individual involuntarily confined or detained in a penal institution, which includes individuals detained pending arraignment and individuals in alternative locations (i.e. house arrest, parole). Subpart C in the federal regulations provide specific instructions as to how prisoners can be included in research studies.
Prisoners are in a naturally coercive environment; their ability to make decisions about daily life is severely compromised. They may be more easily persuaded to participate in a study in prison then they would have if otherwise occupied. Thus, it is important that you consider every aspect of the study, particularly the method for obtaining consent.
Can a Prisoner Participate in My Study?
What Happens if One of My Participants Becomes a Prisoner?
Special Rules for Using Prisoners