The Impact of
A Multifaceted Perspective
The consequences of correctional supervision, particularly imprisonment, can be felt at multiple levels of society: the individual who is imprisoned, his or her children and family, the neighborhood and community, and the nation. Within each of these levels are sublevels that bring additional dimensions and considerations to bear on the event of imprisonment. Several of these perspectives, however, are rarely discussed or written about in the media or professional literature. A comprehensive examination, particularly of imprisonment, would require several books to do justice to the topic. Thus, the goal of outlining for the reader a multifaceted perspective on the consequences of correctional supervision is a daunting task. There are numerous publications examining various dimensions of correctional supervision and its ecological impact on society. Thus, this chapter does not intend to be an exhaustive review of the literature; it seeks only to highlight major issues and considerations.
The chapter does provide the reader with an understanding of the prodigious impact of incarceration and other forms of correctional supervision on families and communities, as well as on the prisoners' and former prisoners' experience within institutions and in their adjustment to life outside of a correctional facility (Arax, 1999a, 1999b; Dowling, 1997; Parenti, 1996). A special aspect of this chapter is its attention to the effect of incarceration on communities and the nation. All too often the focus