Prisoner Reentry and Social Capital: The Long Road to Reintegration

Lexington Books

'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.
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About the author

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.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Lexington Books
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Published on
May 26, 2010
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Pages
166
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ISBN
9780739143902
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Criminology
Social Science / Penology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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"Bravo to the authors! They have done an excellent job addressing the issues that are critical to community members, policy makers and interventionists concerned with Black families in the context of our nation."
—Michael C. Lambert, University of Missouri, Colombia

"African American Families is a timely work. The strength of this text lies in the depth of coverage, clarity, and the ability to combine secondary sources, statistics and qualitative data to reveal the plight of African Americans in society."
—Edward Opoku-Dapaah, Winston-Salem State University

"African American Families is both engaging and challenging and is perhaps one of the most important works I have read in many years. This book will most certainly move the discourse of the socio-economic conditions of black families forward, beyond the boundaries already set by other books in the market. African American Families is an excellent book whose time has come, and one that I would most definitely adopt."
—Lateef O. Badru, University of Louisville

African American Families provides a systematic sociological study of contemporary life for families of African descent living in the United States. Analyzing both quantitative and qualitative data, authors Angela J. Hattery and Earl Smith identify the structural barriers that African Americans face in their attempts to raise their children and create loving, healthy, and raise the children of the next generation.

Key Features:

Uses the lens provided by the race, class, and gender paradigm: Examples illustrate the ways in which multiple systems of oppression interact with patterns of self-defeating behavior to create barriers that deny many African Americans access to the American dream.Addresses issues not fully or adequately addressed in previous books on Black families: These issues include personal responsibility and disproportionately high rates of incarceration, family violence, and chronic illnesses like HIV/AIDS. Brings statistical data to life: The authors weave personal stories based on interviews they've conducted into the usual data from scholarly(?) literature and from U.S. Census Bureau reports.Provides several illustrations from Hurricane Katrina: A contemporary analysis of a recent disaster demonstrates many of the issues presented in the book such as housing segregation and predatory lending practices.Offers extensive data tables in the appendices: Assembled in easy-to-read tables, students are given access to the latest national agencies data from agencies including the U.S. Census Bureau, Centers for Disease Control, and Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Intended Audience:

This is an ideal textbook for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses such as African American Families, Sociology of the Family, Contemporary Families, and Race and Ethnicity in the departments of Human Development and Family Studies, Sociology, African American Studies, and Black Studies.

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