1st Edition

Gender, Prison and Reentry Experiences A Matter of Time

By Silvia Gomes, Dixie Rocker Copyright 2024
    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book explores the unique reentry experiences of incarcerated men and women who are about to be released from prisons in Portugal. By analysing gendered reentry experiences through the narratives of men and women, Gender, Prison and Reentry Experiences sheds light on current practices and strategies adopted in prisons regarding reentry and examines the structural, institutional, and personal barriers that influence the reentry outcome.

    Gender, Prison and Reentry Experience examines the narratives built around an individual’s prison experiences, their perception of the prison’s impact on reentry, and their expectations after release. It reveals how men and women narrate and attribute meaning to their time in prison and how they navigate their ‘prisoner’ and ‘gendered’ identities. In doing so, this book demonstrates the importance of these identities in relation to recidivism and desistance, whilst also questioning the role incarceration has in further criminalising and obstructing an individuals’ reentry process. It puts forward recommendations that aim to improve the lives of all incarcerated individuals within the current system, in addition to advocating for decarceration and prison abolition. It presents a novel contribution to the internationalisation of knowledge across multiple disciplinary subfields, namely critical reentry studies and feminist criminology, filling a gap in the current knowledge as few studies focus on prison experiences as a core aspect of understanding the reentry process.

    An accessible and compelling read, this book will appeal to students and scholars of criminology, sociology, law, desistance studies, and those interested in gaining a unique insight into the experience of incarcerated individuals.

    1.Introduction  2.Prison, Reentry and Gender: Conceptual and Theoretical Approaches  3.Prisons and Reentry in Portugal: The Gap Between Law and Practice  4.Researching Reentry in Prison: Methodology  5.Gendered Prison Experiences  6.The Perceived Impact of Incarceration Experiences on Individuals’ Reentry  7.Individuals’ Expectations After Release  8.Conclusion: Reentry and (Social) Justice


    Silvia Gomes is an Assistant Professor at the University of Warwick, UK.

    Dixie Rocker is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University, USA.

    "Gomes and Rocker’s superb book offers a much-needed humanizing account of prison life.  Their richly detailed qualitative study illuminates the inner lives and lived experiences of the people we send to prison.  They show how gender, personal agency, and context shape these experiences and, ultimately, influence families and society.  A Matter of Time should be read by scholars, policymakers, and, not least, those who run prisons."

    Dr Daniel P. Mears, Distinguished Research Professor, Florida State University

    “The authors examine the engendering of imprisonment, transitions from custody and the variables that either hinder or support desistance. The book examines how the performativity of gender under the carceral stare is interwoven into the complexities of traversing the label of ‘prisoner’, as they make the transition from custody back into society. This is a timely contribution to the literature, demonstrating the abject failure of the prison system and the penal solutions offered to women and men who come into conflict with the law.”

    Dr Azrini Wahidin, Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Sydney

    "This book joins the critical call for a paradigm shift and strives towards a broader analytical approach to imprisonment. The reentry interface between society and prisons is the subject. Portuguese fieldwork is the showcase. Feminist criminology is the motto of transdisciplinary thinking."

    Dr Antonio Pedro Dores, Assistant Professor, ISCTE

    "Gomes and Rocker provide a keen analysis on how men and women in Portugal experience imprisonment and reentry in order to move past the scope of reform that reproduces harm. Instead, this work highlights how critical reentry studies and abolitionist reimaginations can be used beyond an American lens to advocate and decarcerate prisons around the world."

    Dr Calvin John Smiley, PhD, author of Purgatory Citizenship: Reentry, Race, and Abolition