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Interrupted LifeExperiences of Incarcerated Women in the United States$
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Rickie Solinger and Rebecca Sharitz

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520252493

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520252493.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

Mothering after Imprisonment

Mothering after Imprisonment

(p.388) 79 Mothering after Imprisonment
Interrupted Life

Margaret Oot Hayes

University of California Press

A National Institute of Corrections study recently reported that nearly 85 percent of mothers in prison plan to live with their children when they are released. The fact is, the obstacles to this plan are huge for most incarcerated women and include lack of support for substance abuse problems, unresolved issues related to trauma and abuse, the need for safe and affordable housing, and the impact of extended separation from their children. This chapter presents two case studies that illustrate the terrible difficulties into which many formerly incarcerated mothers step upon their reentry into family life. The two mothers in the case studies, “Maria” and “Sylvia,” had similar backgrounds. They had been teenage mothers before their incarceration, lived in poverty, had a history of mental illness, and were victims of domestic abuse. Maria also had a history of substance abuse. Their stories represent the mothers' journeys from prison to home with their children, and back to prison.

Keywords:   incarcerated mothers, mothering, reentry, incarceration, prison, children, poverty, family life, mental illness, domestic abuse

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