Incarceration and the Family: A Review of Research and Promising Approaches for Serving Fathers and Families. 5.1 The Importance of Family


Married men who reside with their wives and children upon release from prison have a more successful transition.

Inmates frequently look first to their families to meet their immediate needs for money, housing, and emotional support (Fishman, 1990; Visher & Travis, 2003). The majority of prisoners being released report feeling close to their family, and 70% of the men in the Ohio Returning Home Study expected to live with their family upon release from prison (however, in this study the definition of family was not restricted to partners and children) (Visher, Baer, & Naser, 2006). Research suggests that married men who reside with their wives and children upon release have a more successful transition (Visher & Travis, 2003). Although families play a substantial role in the reentry process, the criminal justice system does little to prepare families for their reunion (Fishman, 1990).

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