Making It in the Free World: Women in Transition from Prison

Making It in the Free World: Women in Transition from Prison

by Patricia O'Brien
     
 

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This is the first study to address the important but neglected topic of how women return to the "free world" after single or multiple experiences of incarceration. It uses first-person narratives and a comprehensive review of contemporary theory to provide useful suggestions for practitioners and policymakers concerned with responding to the increasing number of women… See more details below

Overview

This is the first study to address the important but neglected topic of how women return to the "free world" after single or multiple experiences of incarceration. It uses first-person narratives and a comprehensive review of contemporary theory to provide useful suggestions for practitioners and policymakers concerned with responding to the increasing number of women in the criminal justice system.

Patricia O'Brien provides an in-depth description of the experiences of women with a variety of criminal histories to elucidate elements that contributed to their desistance from crime. The book challenges practitioners to be more proactive in recognizing the needs of this population and more responsive to these needs. O'Brien suggests policy changes, especially related to alternatives to incarceration. The first-person narratives of non-recidivist women provide concrete and powerful examples of the crucial mix of ingredients any woman needs to remain free and empowered in a context of powerlessness and increasing social control.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This research study by O'Brien (social work, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago) is based on interviews with 18 women formerly incarcerated for transgressions involving substance abuse or property. She shows how their prison and parole experiences affected their reentry into the "free world" as they sought to establish homes, experience healthy relationships with family and others, and live productive lives. The author found that each woman's degree of stability was strongly related to the availability and quality of education, counseling, and vocational training during her confinement as well as the nature of supervision and assistance from parole officers and others following their release. Among other topics, she ties together a review of related literature, a description of her research strategy, and a serious questioning of the value to society (as well as to the individual) of the current "get tough" incarceration solution to nonviolent "criminal" activity of both sexes. Recommended for academic and professional attention. Suzanne W. Wood, SUNY Coll. of Technology at Alfred Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
Written for policy makers and practitioners involved with the growing number of women in jails and prisons, this book argues that the system needs to become more proactive in recognizing the needs of this population, and more proactive in addressing these needs. Many excerpts are presented from the first person narratives of non- recidivist women who tell what they feel they need to remain free and empowered in a context of powerlessness and increasing social control. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
“Extremely well written and addressing an important but neglected topic, this book is significant and critical to the area of women’s prisons. The first-person narratives are very powerful.”—Barbara Owen, author of “In the Mix”: Struggle and Survival in a Women's Prison

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791491157
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
09/18/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
1 MB

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