Date of Conferral
Successful reintegration of ex-offenders is difficult for most, evidenced by high recidivism rates. Ex-offenders face a broad range of obstacles once released from prison, including personal, social, and employment barriers. This study was an examination of the issues that contributed to a successful or unsuccessful reintegration as reported by ex-offenders. Participants included 10 ex-offenders who participated in interviews regarding the conditions that they believed were necessary for successful community reintegration. The conceptual framework for this study came from the ecological perspective, also known as the person-in-environment theory. Data collection involved one-on-one interviews with the participants. Data analysis was conducted through a line-by-line analysis of the responses, which resulted in disclosure of themes and patterns about their life experience. The key findings from the study suggest that older African American women, once released from prison, need additional support to reintegrate into their communities. Key findings include a need for housing, employment, and community involvement. The social change implications of this study may provide for positive social change if professionals working in the criminal justice system with older individuals are made aware of the hardships this population faces, such as finding housing and employment. The information from this study could be instrumental in how reintegration specialists, social workers, and policy makers create reintegration plans and programs for women in addition to creating programs that are specifically geared toward meeting the needs of older women.