Munn, M. (2011). Living in the aftermath: the impact of lengthy incarceration on post-
carceral success. The Howard Journal, 50(3), 233-246. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-
Melissa Munn, a professor at Okanagan College in Canada, attempts to prove that
there is a possibility of success for ex-convicts who have been released after serving
long term sentences. There has been much research on the negative effects of long
term imprisonment, however, there is very little research on those who have
managed to overcome all the obstacles and lead a successful life after prison.
Through interviews of ex-convicts, the author learns that although there are many
obstacles these men must face in their relationships with others, the way they learn
to deal with their freedom, and their paranoia of being sent back, there are those who
manage to lead relatively normal lives. This study contradicts my hypothesis that
long term prison sentences hinder a person’s ability to live normal lives in society.
Phelps, M.S. (2011). Rehabilitation in the punitive era: the gap between rhetoric and reality in
U.S. prison programs. Law and Society Review, 45(1), 33-68.
There has been much talk about rehabilitation programs being used in prisons. As Phelps
discusses in this article, nothing that is being talked about is being acted on. The research
shows that since the 1970s and 1980s government began to focus more on the punishment than on the rehabilitation of prisoners. It was not until the 1990s that there began to be more participation in rehabilitation programs for prisoners. Research shows that if the prison system focuses on punishment, they prisoners will be treated simply as criminals and they will never get out of the cycle of crime and incarceration that they are in. If they are involved in rehabilitation programs, however, they will have a better chance of succeeding when they are released. This study shows a solution to the problem that I plan to address in my literature review of the difficulties ex-convicts have in reintegrating into society.
Raphael, S. (2011). Incarceration and prisoner reentry in the United States. The ANNALS of the
American Academy of Political and Social Science, 635, 192-215. DOI: 10.1177/0002716210393321
The author, Stephen Raphael, examines the effects of long term incarceration on a
person’s ability to obtain employment. It focuses especially on the employers’ views of
applicants with criminal records. Those who have been incarcerated for long periods of
time and are much older have a much more difficult time finding employment because
they have not acquired many skills since they have been incarcerated and they are
physically incapable of doing the only jobs they are qualified for. The author
concludes that there must be more programs that help inmates learn the skills they
need to find employment when they are released. This study is directly related to
my topic because it shows the problems that former prisoners have when they are
released after long term incarceration.
K. L. Barrett (2011). Life After Life Imprisonment. The Howard Journal 50(3), 335-341.
This article reviews the studies conducted by others who have observed the lives of
prisoners who were given life sentences and were released. Much of the research that
had been done until now only looked at the failures of those who were released from
long term imprisonment, however, there are many of those who have succeeded. As
Catherine Appleton found through a series of interviews, with the help of their parole officers, many of these former prisoners were able to reintegrate into society and live normal lives alongside their relatives and friends. This study shows that there are ways to
help former inmates surpass the obstacles of being isolated from society for so long and that institutionalization can be stopped.
Walters, G.D. (2010). Predicting recidivism with the psychological inventory
of Criminal Thinking Styles and Level of Service Inventory-Revised: Screening Version. Law Human Behavior, 35, 211-220. DOI 10.1007/s10979-010-9231-7.
Walters discusses the ways in which recidivism can be predicted in certain inmates. One of the criteria for predicting recidivism is the length of the prison sentence. The longer an inmate has been imprisoned, the more likely they are to reoffend when they are released. He found that the longer they are in prison, the more they are learning from other inmates how to commit worse crimes and they are more likely to test their new skills when they
are released. They also become so accustomed to the prison lifestyle that they are
often times not afraid of returning to prison. This contradicts the study conducted
Barrett in which it was found that they are able to succeed when they are released.
This study relates to my topic because it provides further insight into the problem
of recidivism and why it is occurring.