Reentry and Social Networks: Examining the Role of Mentoring in Increasing Social Capital

Kim A. Cattat, SUNY - University of Buffalo
Dina R. Rose, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

ABSTRACT
With the number of criminal offenders being released back into communities continuing to climb, current research has mainly focused on how reentry is related to recidivism. However, due to the concentration of incarceration and reentry in certain communities it is important to consider how reentry impacts the neighborhoods to which released offenders return. A growing body of literature has examined how reentry impacts ex-offenders, their families and their communities and how the process of incarceration and reentry can affect social capital. Based on qualitative interviews with 12 ex-inmates, this paper explores the role of mentoring for ex-prisoners transitioning back to the neighborhood. We then illustrate the contribution mentoring makes to increasing social capital. Findings suggest mentoring can be an important asset for decreasing problems associated with reentry and for shoring up community stability. We conclude with a series of policy recommendations.

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Updated 05/20/2006