In this chapter, former prisoners’ narratives are used to explore what it means to serve time in the “total institution” of prison, the prison experience and its connection to prisoner reentry, and what it means to be a convicted felon in society. Society expects prisoners reentering society to succeed by getting a job and not returning to a life of crime, but many fail, yet scholars rarely incorporate felons’ voices into the analysis to understand why. This chapter argues that there are many contradictions embedded in the reentry process, that there is little public support and social capital, and that participants find out that reentering society is harder than they anticipated. Relying on first-person accounts, the chapter exposes why it is so hard to reenter by exploring participants’ experience of living under the oppressive penal chain attached to a felony conviction. Readers are introduced to a unique perspective on serving time in prison and reentering society as a felon.
NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.