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How Women and Front-Line Workers Manage the Bureaucratic Process of Prisoner Reentry

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2013, $30,000)

This grant is funded under NIJ's 2013 Ph.D. Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) Program, which provides awards to accredited academic universities that offer research-based doctoral degrees in disciplines relevant to NIJ's mission. The goals of this project are to study women's reentry experiences through agencies and systems that influence recidivism and reintegration into social and economic environments¯how women manage post-incarceration through resource and service access, and how parole, probation and service providers approach their work and assist and/or hinder these reentering offenders. Objectives include describing: offender strategies to access what they need, offender perceptions of front-line workers and institutions as meeting their needs, worker perceptions of offenders and reentering women in particular, and influence of California's 2011 Public Safety Realignment legislation on supervision and service provision. The project takes an Institutional Ethnography approach entailing: women offender client interviews, participant-observation of clients accessing services, client interviews following worker interactions, worker interviews, analysis of service policies and other written materials, and interviews with a family court judge and other key informants. Timeline specifies: n=15 client interviews and 15 days reentry program observation in wave 1; n=10 client interviews and 30-45 days observation and n=5-10 key informant interviews in wave 2. Offender areas of interest include: "day-to-day" lives of women offenders, most frequently contacted institutions and perceptions of interactions, indicators of worker performance, and influence of demographics. Observation locations include: emergency rooms, welfare offices, housing offices, treatment providers, courthouses, and probation/parole offices. Worker areas of interest include: daily job functions, regulations and other operational influences, professional background, frequency of offender contact, and perceptions of reentering female offenders. Qualitative data based on transcribed recordings and researcher notes are analyzed using Atlas.ti.7 software, and a Listening Guide approach is applied to ensure consistent coding through constant comparison with similar text. Proposed deliverables include: a paper and web-based toolkit¯for clients (legal rights, service providers, and how to navigate service system) and for workers (service providers, service delivery and client interaction); manuscripts to academic journals; and presentations at professional conferences. ca/ncf

Date Created: September 12, 2013