Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Mark Gordon


Formerly incarcerated women often find it difficult to reintegrate into their communities after release. For this population, adjustment to changes directly impacts their reentry success in all areas of life. Previous research has identified significant gaps in social services for formerly incarcerated females (FIFs). Service providers' perspectives about practices and policies to address the problem are inadequate, and as a result, service provisions suffer. Therefore, this qualitative study was used to examine the shared experiences of 15 workforce development professionals who assist FIFs during their reentry process to evaluate and assess the most effective methods or policies that assist this population. This qualitative study involved using the cognitive social career theory to guide research and analysis. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect data as well as inductive coding to analyze data. Study findings indicated the need for workforce development policy, program-specific development, and changes in support systems, techniques, and methods used to service FIFs during the reentry process. In addition, there may be positive social change implications for criminal justice and economic policy reform to help create a more effective and holistic workforce development program for the formerly incarcerated female.