Reentry to What? Theorizing Prisoner Reentry in the Jobless Future
Academic research on "prisoner reentry" has been heavily focused upon experimental design and program evaluation rather than broader shifts in race and class relations or underlying economic change. Deeper theoretical attention to the subaltern context of prisoner reentry would offer a more balanced and comprehensive assessment of the challenges facing the highly-marginalized populations of former prisoners now increasingly the objects of "reentry" programming. This paper employs a sociology of punishment perspective to foreground recent scholarship on the prisoner reentry movement and to document the still nascent implementation of a "prisoner reentry" agenda, despite nearly two decades of effort. The paper argues that long-neglected needs of subaltern populations incarcerated over the past several decades in the United States should become a more central focus of prisoner reentry research. The paper highlights the work of several theorists to summarize three theoretical perspectives to help balance the "reentry" research agenda: prisoner reentry as neoliberal punishment; prisoner reentry as peculiar institution; and prisoner reentry as criminological scientism. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Hallett. (2011). Reentry to What? Theorizing Prisoner Reentry in the Jobless Future. Critical Criminology (Richmond, B.C.), 20(3), 213–228. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10612-011-9138-8