From prison to the community: The role of citizen participation in female prisoner reentry
Growing attention is being given to the design of programs for female prisoners to assist their successful reentry into the community upon the completion of their incarceration. However, current programs have been largely designed and implemented with the goal of seeking parolee compliance through mandatory rules and practices. Little emphasis is placed on preparing inmates to assume their duties as citizens and active participants in the lives of their community. In short, existing programs pay little attention to the importance of creating what I call for purposes of this study, “citizen participation”.
This study tests the importance of developing a strong sense of citizen participation on the part of female parolees prior to release from prison. An intervention strategy was used on a control group of female prisoners to assess the impact of a citizen participation educational program. For purposes of this study citizen participation is operationalized in terms of the following four measures: self-efficacy, sense of obligation to the community, sense of citizen control and intent to be an engaged citizen. The findings suggest that incorporation of a citizen participation component focused on the above four dimension has the potential to assist female prisoners in successfully reentering their communities.
0453: Womens studies
0617: Public administration
0633: Cognitive psychology