Returning Home: Intimate Partner Violence and Reentry

Returning Home: Intimate Partner Violence and Reentry

Returning Home: Intimate Partner Violence and Reentry

Returning Home: Intimate Partner Violence and Reentry

Synopsis

Formerly incarcerated African Americans face numerous challenges when returning home from prison. A major challenge that many formerly incarcerated offenders encounter is negotiating relationships, especially with intimate partners following periods of incarceration. For many African American men and women during reentry, intimate partner violence frequently becomes a problem. Through intensive interviews, Harris documents twenty-nine formerly incarcerated African American men's and women's experiences with intimate partner violence. This book highlights principles and elements of restorative justice as a useful framework to address the issue of intimate partner violence among this group.

Excerpt

Mass incarceration of prisoners has inadvertently affected many of the nation’s communities; this phenomenon has especially affected the African American community (Mauer, 2011; Hairston & Oliver, 2006). Prisoner populations in the United States are disproportionately black (Glaze & Herberman, 2013), with an overwhelming majority of person incarcerated being young men. As of 2012, an estimated 2.3 million inmates were incarcerated in state and federal prisons and local jails across the United States. Of that number, 1.6 million were serving time in state and federal prisons; African American men and women had the highest rate of imprisonment of any demographic group. African American males had an imprisonment rate that was nearly 6 times that of white non-Hispanic males (Carson & Golinelli, 2013). In some respects, the female inmate population mirrors the male inmate population. African American women were incarcerated at a rate 2.5 times that of white non-Hispanic females (Carson & Sabol, 2012). According to Richie (2012, 2001), the ethnic profile of women in prison represents one of the most vivid examples of racial disparity in our society. By far, the majority of women who are incarcerated in this country are women of color, mainly black and brown women (Carson & Golinelli, 2013).

These statistics place reentry to the community into sharp focus, especially for African American communities. Here prisoner reentry has a disparate impact because many African American communities struggle with persistent poverty, chronic unemployment, high crime rates, and fragile family relations. Hundreds of thousands of African American men and women are returning to their communities from incarceration, in large part without adequate support. In most cases . . .

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