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From Incarceration to Employment: Barriers to Finding Work Identified by Parolees in Ontario, Canada  

Author:  Taylor Mooney.; Rose Ricciardelli.

Source: Volume 27, Number 01, Fall 2017 , pp.5-12(8)

Journal of Community Justice (formerly Journal of Community Corrections)

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This article explores the transition from incarceration to employment upon release from prison. Although researchers have identified employment as an essential element in ex-prisoners’ successful community reentry, the path to attaining employment after incarceration, particularly meaningful employment, is far more complicated. Drawing on in-depth, semi-structured longitudinal interviews with 24 releasees over a three-year period, this study seeks to understand the experiences of ex-prisoners as they attempt to find work, particularly the barriers they face and any indications of how these barriers might be mitigated. In particular, the study focuses on participants’ comments explaining (1) the implications of having few previous employment and educational experiences and (2) the impact of having a criminal record. The authors found that study participants faced significant barriers as they attempted to attain stable employment, particularly in light of the stigmatizing effect of having a criminal record.

Keywords: Employment reintegration, community reentry, criminal record, desistance, parole

Affiliations:  1: Memorial University of Newfoundland; 2: Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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