Reentry Research Experiences: The "How To" Challenges

Thomas P. LeBel, University at Albany
James A. Wilson, Fordham University - Lincoln Center

ABSTRACT
This session will provide a forum for discussion about the logistics of conducting research on prisoner reentry. Prisoner reentry encompasses the immediate period surrounding release and the months and years following release as ex-prisoners return to their families and communities. The obvious limitations of administrative data virtually require that an in depth study of prisoner reentry and reintegration gather information from individual prisoners and/or ex-prisoners through personal surveys, interviews, or focus groups, preferably over time. However, the research challenges involved in conducting such a study are daunting, beginning with human subjects issues, coordination with departments of correction and parole agencies, and the difficulties inherent in tracking a transient population. Several researchers who have conducted research on prisoner reentry will present their experiences and offer lessons learned during their studies.

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Updated 05/20/2006