Returning Home: Individual Factors in Prisoner Reintegration

Christy Visher, The Urban Institute
Nancy G. La Vigne, The Urban Institute
Sarah Lawrence, The Urban Institute

This paper will present the results of preliminary analyses of data collected from individual prisoners during the pilot study (conducted in Baltimore, Maryland) of Returning Home: Understanding the Challenges of Prisoner Reentry. Returning Home seeks to understand the process of reintegration, including what factors contribute to a successful or unsuccessful reentry experience and how those factors can inform policy. The full study examines the challenges prisoners face upon release from prison and the transition home along five dimensions: 1) the individual trajectory of post-prison adjustment; 2) the family context both before and after prisoners return; 3) the individual's relationships with peers both in prison and post-release; 4) the community context to which prisoners return; and 5) the state-level context of reentry regulations and policies and other social and economic influences. This paper compares pre-release expectations with post-release circumstances using data collected during surveys administered 30-45 days before release and interviews conducted 30-45 days after release.

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Updated 05/20/2006