Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2019

Capstone Advisor

Gretchen Purser

Honors Reader

Michael Kalish

Capstone Major


Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

Criminology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology


Prisoner reentry has been an ever-increasing topic of investigation as communities work to reduce recidivism and mitigate the negative consequences that mass incarceration and release from incarceration has on individuals and communities. This qualitative, interview-based study of a reentry program in a Northeastern City centers the experiences of formerly incarcerated persons who are currently in various stages of the reentry process over those of program staff. I use these experiences as well as existing literature on prisoner reentry, reentry programming, and labor to evaluate and understand the shortcomings of such programs from the perspective of those directly involved in and impacted by them. I found that there is an ambivalence towards Safe Haven, other reentry programs, community supervision, and clients of these services, which manifests itself most saliently when interviewees are discussing their peers. My research indicates that the clients of reentry programs experience ambivalence towards these programs and other post-carceral institutions. This ambivalence is often coupled with social distancing, which typically occurs when clients discuss other clients as well as when they discuss their community. Drawing primarily upon the work of Merton and Barber, Comfort, Miller, and Mijs, I argue that the liminal space of reentry produces sociological ambivalence and social distancing.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Included in

Criminology Commons



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