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Convicted and CondemnedThe Politics and Policies of Prisoner Reentry$
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Keesha M. Middlemass

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780814724392

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814724392.001.0001

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Unwelcome Homecoming

Unwelcome Homecoming

(p.51) 2 Unwelcome Homecoming
Convicted and Condemned

Keesha M. Middlemass

NYU Press

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.

Keywords:   total institution, prison, prisoner reentry

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