skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 78364 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Families of Black Prisoners - Survival and Progress
Author(s): L A Swan
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 172
Sponsoring Agency: G K Hall
Boston, MA 02111
US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare
Rockville, MD 20857
Sale Source: G K Hall
70 Lincoln Street
Boston, MA 02111
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study describes and identifies a composite of black prisoners' families and determines the nature and extent of adjustment, economic, and related problems these families face before, during, and after the imprisonment of a family member.
Abstract: Interviews were conducted with 208 black families living in large cities in Alabama and Tennessee, and data were obtained from 192 families. Interview questions, many of which were open ended, concerned helping relationships and adjustment among family members and relatives at each stage of the crisis resulting from imprisonment of a member; sociological and economic problems; and family members' relationships with the community during the imprisonment. The survey also solicited information on governmental policies toward prisoners' families and the kinds of services families need. Data analysis revealed that before imprisonment, the majority of the women believed that the spousal and parental-child relationships had been strong. During the period of arrest and imprisonment, the families were generally able to maintain a high level of family stability, and their residential status was not adversely affected. The study concluded that the major problem facing black prisoners and their families both before and during imprisonment was a lack of adequate finances; this problem became more acute following the men's imprisonment. Families managed fairly well if the women were educated and could find skilled employment. In most families, the women looked forward to the prisoner's release and return home, and most prisoners had the respect of their wives both before and during imprisonment. More than one-half of the help received by families of black prisoners came from governmental agencies, and welfare payments accounted for the greatest part. Many of the functions of the male marital partner were assumed by members of the woman's extended family. The study recommends that prompt intervention services be provided for families of black prisoners at each stage in the imprisonment crisis. Tabular data, notes for each chapter, and an index are given. A literature review which precedes the study gives particular attention to the research of Frazier, Moynihan, and Morris.
Index Term(s): Black/African Americans; Crisis intervention; Families of inmates; Family crisis; Family support; Inmate marriages; Racial discrimination
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.