Book Review: After prison: Navigating employment and reintegration

Published date01 December 2020
AuthorRebecca Rodriguez Carey
Date01 December 2020
Subject MatterBook Reviews
Book Review
Book Review
Ricciardelli, R., & Peters, A. M. F. (Eds.). (2017).
After prison: Navigating employment and reintegration. Waterloo, Canada: Wilfrid Laurier University Press. 280 pp.
$ 39.99, ISBN 978-1-77112-316-7.
Reviewed by: Rebecca Rodriguez Carey, Emporia State University, Emporia, KS, USA
DOI: 10.1177/0734016818809827
In After Prison: Navigating Employment and Reintegration, editors Rose Ricciardelli and Adrienne
M. F. Peters shed light on some of the obstacles the formerly incarcerated face when they return
home, most notably the difficulties that surround work. An overarching theme of this volume centers
on the idea that employment is critical to securing a variety of other needs, such as housing and food,
all of which are necessary for a “successful reentry.” Moreover, employment has also been linked to
a desistance from crime and an increased sense of stability and independence. However, the con-
tributors show how securing and maintaining work is a challenge for the recently released, given the
scarcity of programs in prison that equip prisoners with education and employment experience.
Contributors also show how the stigma that accompanies having been incarcerated makes it more
difficult to find work.
This volume includes both qualitative and quantitative studies and literature from a variety of
contributors, including criminologists, psychologists, and social workers, in addition to scholars
from other fields, as well as the expe riences of a former prisoner, to show th e difficulties the
incarcerated face “after prison,” particularly for those living in Canada. This volume is unique in
that it provides suggestions for policymakers to better assist former priso ners with finding and
maintaining work, while also highlighting model reentry programs.
In the first section titled “The Employment Re-Entry Enigma/Dilemma,” contributor and former
prisoner James Young (pseudonym) reflects on the difficulties he experienced when he was released
from prison after serving a life sentence. Young detailshow he submitted more than 500 resumesbut
only received invites to three interviews.Although he eventually found work, he soon discovered that
it came with littlepay and a lengthy commute. Giventhe nature of the pay and the commute time, this
work was not sustainable, so he quit. At the time of his writing, he was still searching for work.
Kemi S. Anazodo, Christopher Chan, and Ricciardelli discuss the relationship between desistance
from crime and employment, as they show how the formerly incarcerated must overcome a number
of barriers, from a loss of driver’s license, to limited job skills and education, to limited social
support. The barriers that former prisoners face once they return home serve as an overarching theme
throughout the volume.
Krystle Martin furthers this argument in her chapter, as she highlights how these barriers and the
stigma that accompanies incarceration are exacerbated for former offenders with mental illness.
Martin highlights the need for more meaningful reentry programs specifically designed to better
assist those with mental illness, including the need for specialized training for employment special-
ists who work with this population.
Criminal Justice Review
2020, Vol. 45(4) 506-507
ª2018 Georgia State University
Article reuse guidelines:

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT