Research reveals that most incarcerated adults are optimistic about their chances of success after release and believe they will be less likely to reoffend than other prisoners. Moreover, studies suggest that optimism shapes desistance. This raises the interesting question of how and why female inmates maintain an optimistic outlook about their postrelease. The current study uses in-depth interviews with 26 incarcerated women to assess inductively their perceptions of life after prison and the self-enhancing schemas they draw from in this process. Results highlight the utility of examining incarcerated women's outlook about their future and have import for policy. Abstract published by arrangement with Taylor and Francis.