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Working for JusticeA Handbook of Prison Education and Activism$
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Stephen John Hartnett, Eleanor Novek, and Jennifer K. Wood

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037702

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037702.001.0001

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Life After Incarceration

Life After Incarceration

Exploring Identity in Reentry Programs for Women

(p.123) Chapter 6 Life After Incarceration
Working for Justice

Nikki H. Nichols

University of Illinois Press

This chapter draws upon in-depth interviews with formerly incarcerated women to examine the kinds of support they most appreciated, or would like to have received, while transitioning from prison back to free society. As the interviewees demonstrate, the notion of freedom is complicated, for even after incarceration the women's sense of self is impacted heavily by their experiences in prison. The evidence in this study suggests complex layers of identity that defy the unidimensional stigma of “convict” that is often imposed on women who have been incarcerated. The women's personal stories convey their perceptions of themselves, their perceptions of how they are viewed by society, and the kinds of resources they need for a successful return to their communities.

Keywords:   incarcerated women, free society, freedom, self-perception, identity crisis, convicts

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