Incarceration and the Family: A Review of Research and Promising Approaches for Serving Fathers and Families. 5. Reentry and the Marital/Partner Relationship


With some exceptions, most men who are imprisoned return home. Reentry is the dynamic process of exiting prison and returning to a free society (Visher & Travis, 2003). Although this can be an exciting time for some families, it can be a fearful time for others (particularly those whose partners have a history of domestic violence). There are a number of challenges that men and women need to anticipate as men attempt to resume their roles as husbands/partners and fathers. The reentry experience for each inmate is shaped by his pre-incarceration history (e.g., substance abuse, domestic violence history, job skills and experience); his prison experience (i.e., mental and physical health status); and his attitudes, beliefs, and personality traits (Travis, Solomon, & Waul, 2001). This section focuses on common obstacles to family well-being, including role renegotiation, negative emotions, relapse, interpersonal conflict, and the threat of domestic violence.

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