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52 J. Offender Rehab. 1 (2013)

handle is hein.journals/wjor52 and id is 1 raw text is: 


Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 52:1-15, 2013        I   Routledge
Copyright C Taylor & Francis Group, LLC                      Taylor& Francis Group
ISSN: 1050-9674 print/1540-8558 online
DOI: 10.1080/10509674.2012.713452



        The Value of Silence in the Lives of
                  Postincarcerated Women


                           ALICE  McINTYRE
        Department ofEducation, Hellenic College, Brookline, Massachusetts, USA


     The increase in the female inmate population in the United States
     has brought attention to issues related to women's incarceration.
     Due  to a host of reasons-some personal, some based on society's
     view offemale inmates-many women find it challenging   to speak
     about their experiences prior, during, and after their incarceration.
     This article explores the challenges postincarcerated women face as
     they engage  the process of speaking their stories into ife. The
     participants' stories suggest silence as a necessary, valuable, and
     protective strategy for women who are living through a process of
     reconnecting with themselves, theirfamilies, and their communities.

     KEYWORDS incarceration, interviews,   postincarceration, silence,
     women


For the past 6 years I, and a few friends, have met with a varying group of
women   inmates one evening  per week at a state prison in the Northeastern
region of the United States. During our meetings we discuss a host of issues
related to the women's incarceration: their relationships with their families;
the reasons  for their incarceration; their experiences with drugs, alcohol,
men,  school, and work; their roles as mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends;
and, as important, how they will enhance and effectively change their lives
upon  their release. It is out of those weekly experiences that I became
interested in how postincarcerated women  negotiate the challenges of reen-
try into their families and communities.
     I contacted a number of organizations and prerelease centers that pro-
vide shelter and resources to women  who  have been  released from prison
and  are awaiting housing and employment. During this time, I was fortunate

    Address correspondence to Alice McIntyre, PhD, Department of Education, Hellenic
College, 50 Goddard Ave., Brookline, MA 02445, USA. E-mail: amacO2l3O@aol.com; amcintyre@
hchc.edu


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