Re-Entry Success, Social Support and Social Networks Among Ex-Prisoners

Patrick M. Clark, National Institute of Justice

Past research suggests that most adult offenders will be rearrested subsequent to release from prison. Some suggest a social systems perspective to be useful in accommodating the content and structure of traditional and often conflicting theories of criminal behavior. Social systems involving social support and social networks are evident in a number of studies concerning offenders, and especially those re-entering society after serving sentences of imprisonment. Although seldom measure or controlled, researchers have recognized the relationship of these social systems variables and the problems of criminal behavior and recidivism. Social support and social network surveys were administered to 60 inmates recently transferred from prison to a minimum security community residential center in preparation for parole. Multiple regression analyses explore the relationship of aspects of social support, social networks and return to prison. Survey results appear to support theory involving social systems and recidivism.

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Updated 05/20/2006