Prisoner Reentry and Social Capital : The Long Road to Reintegration
'If you do the crime you gotta do the time.' This adage reflects the overall attitude most Americans have about crime and the criminal justice system. Implicit in this adage is the notion that once 'the time' is done, the individual is free to re-enter society and resume a normal life. In Prisoner Re-entry and Social Capital, authors Earl Smith and Angela J. Hattery challenge this myth. Prisoner Re-entry and Social Capital takes as its starting point interviews with twenty-five men and women during the summer of 2008 about their experiences with re-entering the 'free world' after a period of incarceration. By analyzing the experiences of these men and women, Smith and Hattery look in depth at the factors that inhibit successful re-entry and illustrate some successes and failures. The book examines individual characteristics that inhibit successful re-entry such as addiction and sex offender status as well as the unique challenges faced by women. Uniquely, Smith and Hattery focus on the role that social capital plays as one of the most important factors that shapes the re-entry experience. Today, one of the most pressing issues facing scholars, those who work in the criminal justice system, and the citizenry as a whole is the extraordinarily high rate of recidivism. These interviews and analyses provide a deeper and more precise understanding of the biases faced by re-entry felons in the labor market and work to address the key barriers to re-entry in hopes to aid in their elimination.
- Electronic book text | 166 pages
- 26 May 2010
- Lexington Books
- MD, United States
About Dr Angela Hattery
Earl Smith is professor of sociology and the Rubin Distinguished Professor of American Ethnic Studies at Wake Forest University Angela J. Hattery is professor of sociology at Wake Forest University.
Smith and Hattery's book on prisoner re-entry and social capital is of societal-wide interest to criminologists, policymakers, prisoners and their families, community workers, and just ordinary folk who want a better understanding of the problem of revolving-door criminality. The authors discuss the practical matters that can serve as barriers to, as well as avenues for, change to a healthy and socially productive life for former convicts and their communities. With social capital employment, housing, support networks, supervision, drug and sexual offense rehab we can greatly reduce the expense and tragedy of recurring crime. Smith and Hattery offer a unique examination, through a series of revealing interviews with ex-prisoners shored up by inarguable data analysis and an historical background of failed policies, of a wasteful but imminently fixable social problem.--Bonnie Berry, Social Problems Research Group"