Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Community & Leadership Development

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Community and Leadership Development

First Advisor

Dr. Rosalind Harris


The voices of women in re-entry from prison have been muted for many decades. Prior research conducted on men and prison re-entry has been used to shape not only prisons but also the reentry process for women. It is because of this oversight that the gender-specific needs of women in the justice system have gone unnoticed. Once released, formerly incarcerated women face the almost impossible task of finding employment. Many women who find employment have found that their wages do not help them move out of poverty. Trying to find adequate housing becomes an issue not only because of their criminal records, but because they do not make enough money. The Landlords want to know how much the women make in order to see if they can pay the rent. Due to these issues, many women find themselves living in neighborhoods located in areas where their previous trauma experiences occurred.

In this study, ten women participated in individual interviews and a focus group session, wherein they discussed intimate details of their lives, through childhood, incarceration and the reentry process. Fatherless homes and early childhood sexual trauma were found to be prevalent in this study. This study was conducted to better understand the needs, concerns and challenges of women returning to their communities after incarceration.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)