Prisoner Reentry and Social Capital
'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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