Who’s Coming Home?

Joan Petersilia

in When Prisoners Come Home

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780195160864
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199943395 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Crime and Public Policy

Who’s Coming Home?

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This chapter provides a profile of returning prisoners and presents data on the demographic and crime profiles of returning prisoners. It discusses race and gender, literacy and education, physical and mental illness, marital and parenting relationships, and substance abuse. Ex-prisoners are still mostly male, minority, and unskilled—yet in each of these areas, there are trends that signal significant changes. Today's inmate is likely to have been in custody several times before, has a lengthy history of alcohol and drug abuse, is more likely to be involved in gang activities and drug dealing, has probably experienced significant periods of unemployment and homelessness, and may have a physical or mental disability. Most of them have young children, with whom they hope to reunite after release, although in most cases, their children will have infrequently visited them during their incarceration.

Keywords: returning prisoners; crime profiles; mental illness; substance abuse; ex-prisoners; drug dealing; gang activity

Chapter.  11347 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Theory

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