The rising number of individuals being released from prison has prompted renewed interest among researchers, policy makers, and practitioners in reintegrating former prisoners. Yet relatively little is known about the social contexts into which former prisoners return and how those contexts affect their social and economic reintegration. This talk focuses on the role that neighborhood context and family social support play in the material wellbeing of former prisoners based on two data sources (1) a rich set of longitudinal administrative records on individuals paroled in Michigan during 2003, and (2) longitudinal qualitative interviews with former prisoners followed over a three-year period. Implications for conceptualizing the process of prisoner reintegration will be discussed.
David Harding is Associate Professor of Sociology and of Public Policy at the University of Michigan as well as Research Associate Professor at the UM Institute for Social Research. He studies urban poverty and inequality, incarceration and prisoner reentry, education, and statistical methods for causal inference. His book, Living the Drama: Community, Conflict, and Culture Among Inner-City Boys (University of Chicago Press, 2010), examines the role of neighborhoods in adolescent outcomes related to education and romantic and sexual behavior, focusing on exposure to violence and the cultural context of poor communities. Harding is currently working on projects related to prisoner reentry, the effects of community context on adolescent and young adult romantic relationships, and for-profit colleges and educational inequality. He employs both quantitative and qualitative methods.