“I Don’t Want to Go Back to That Town:” Incarcerated Mothers and Their Return Home to Rural Communities

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Intimate Partner Violence, Rural Community, Sexual Victimization, Rural Woman, Abusive Relationship


The increased representation of women in prisons and its consequences has been constructed as an urban, inner-city problem. Lost in this conversation, is the acknowledgement of how the limited socioeconomic opportunities, spatial isolation, and stigma which characterize rural America, lead to the vulnerabilities that mark the lives of rural women (Pruitt in Utah Law Rev 2:421–488, 2007). Through the lens of the Vulnerability Conceptual Model, this study explores the ways that community context shapes women’s experiences of mothering, the effect of incarceration on their children, and plans for returning home. Results of the study contribute to the limited research dedicated to rural women, usually obscured by society’s dominant urban perspective.


This article was originally published in Critical Ciminology 22, no. 4 (2014): 527-543. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10612-014-9253-4.