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Cristina Prestin-Beard

Mentor Department

Family and Consumer Sciences


We all have conceptions of life in prison, but what do inmates experience when they return to society after serving their sentence? Former prisoners face a myriad of obstacles which stand between them and truly returning to life outside of prison. They lack what they had before incarceration. Familial relations, social networks, job security, and the guarantee of shelter are all liable to have changed in nature or be completely nonexistent after the duration of a prison sentence (Jones, 2021). They can no longer rely on things they had become accustomed to in prison. The structure of prison life can offer crucial support for inmates. In addition, medication and treatment that are provided and regulated in prison can offer stability not easily accessible after reentry into society (Vail, 2017). The world they come back to has changed during the time of their sentence. Technologies have evolved, and released prisoners reenter the world with a criminal record which can make employment difficult to find (Couloute & Kopf, 2018). The transition back into society for a former prisoner is freedom with contingencies.

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