The Challenges of Re-entering Society From Prison: An Exploratory Study

Scott Masson Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Kenneth Colburn Butler University

The United States leads the world in prison population. Research by Visher and Travis (2003) found that 7 in 10 people released from prison will end up rearrested and back in prison. A committee dedicating to finding the causes and consequences of incarceration found that incarceration has increasingly rose from the early 1970s to the 2015. However what this report also found was a trend in difficulties trying to reintegrate back into society. These difficulties inmates face are not limited to – lower wage earnings, denial of jobs or work licenses to complete jobs, the inability to vote, an ineligibility for public housing, student loans, food stamps, and more. According to an article on the, Matt Ferner stated, “a person’s re-entry into society can be viewed through how adequately they are able to meet six basic life needs: livelihood, residence, family, health, criminal justice compliance and social connections.” These problems are very prevalent in our society and is only getting worse which is why this study in important at looking at these difficulties and bringing them to light. This study will focus on a selective sample of programs offered within Marion County to help reintegrate ex-offenders into the community and reduce the recidivism rate. Participants in this study will be asked to fill out a survey pertaining to specific questions about their program, how it helps the ex-offenders, and the problems they see offenders face when trying to become an upstanding member of society. Some of the questions being asked will also focus around religion, and the area the program is in. I will be administering surveys to programs such as halfway houses in order to gain better knowledge of the challenges ex-offenders face in society after release. This project is important to me because nothing seems to be getting better among the criminal justice system. Prisoners are cycling in and out of the system like a revolving door, yet nothing is being done about it. By pinpointing the challenges that programs face, as well as the offenders, I will be able to shed some light on why ex-offenders go through the criminal justice system more than once, and hopefully be able to come up with possible solutions to these problems thought this quantitative/qualitative exploratory study.

Oral Presentation

When & Where

02:30 PM
Jordan Hall 201