Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Release, Mentorship and Returning to the Community: Former Inmate Perspectives of the Reintegration Experience



School of Criminal Justice


College of Community and Public Service

Date Range



Interview and ethnographic research surrounding the challenges of successful reintegration for returning citizens illustrate the many issues associated with parolees forming new post-prison identities while confronting issues of stigmatization. This research examines weekly community based mentorship meetings in a mid-size Midwestern city between successfully reintegrated citizens, local police, and current parolees at differing stages of the parole experience. Through the use of qualitative thematic analysis, this research explores the reality of life in the community for these former inmates. After release from prison, having served sentences ranging from months to decades, these former inmates discuss their challenges as well as their triumphs, as they attempt to stop the revolving door of Americas prisons. In their own words, the participants explore topics such as the role of religion in their lives, the cause of their former crimes, stigmatization, and other obstacles they face as they attempt to successfully reintegrate into society.

Conference Name

Annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology

Conference Location

San Francisco

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