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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 227878 Find in a Library
Title: Consolations of Going Back to Prison: What 'Revolving Door' Prisoners Think of Their Prospects
Journal: Journal of Offender Rehabilitation  Volume:48  Issue:5  Dated:July 2009  Pages:439-461
Author(s): Amanda Howerton; Ros Burnett; Richard Byng; John Campbell
Date Published: July 2009
Page Count: 23
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute for Mental Health in England
Leeds, LS2 7UE
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on in-depth, face-to-face interviews with 35 male prisoners shortly before their release from prison and then again 4 to 6 weeks after their discharge date, this study identified their problems, concerns, and expectations for their lives after leaving prison.
Abstract: The study found that most of the inmates were somewhat nonchalant about the prospect of returning to prison due to reoffending or a parole violation. There was an apparent mixture of resignation to this prospect and even some consolation in viewing prison as a relief from the hardships and disappointment in attempting to live an independent, law-abiding life in the community. Many inmates expressed significant and often realistic anxieties about leaving prison and readjusting to life in the community. They had low expectations about having the resources and abilities necessary for succeeding or remaining out of prison for very long. This study argues that problems such as homelessness, substance addiction, mental illness, poverty, and unemployment are strong factors that contribute to "revolving door" imprisonment. Having to face these barriers to a satisfying and well-adjusted life in the community contributes to hopelessness and a sense of powerlessness that can make prison more attractive and contribute to the "revolving door." This suggests that it is important to identify motivations and attitudes that undermine a released inmate's commitment to a successful reentry. Most of the respondents interviewed had multiple periods in prison and clearly expressed insecurities about taking responsibility and gaining control of their lives after release. Prerelease and postrelease programs should address these attitudes and aim to provide resources that can address these anxieties, bolster self-esteem, and provide assurance that help, support, and guidance will be available when difficulties arise. 1 table and 42 references
Main Term(s): Corrections research
Index Term(s): Incarceration; Inmate attitudes; Offender attitudes; Post-release programs; Recidivism; Recidivism causes; Reentry; United Kingdom (UK)
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