Ex-prisoners' re-entry: An emerging frontier and a social work challenge

Ram Cnaan, Jeffrey Draine, Beverly Frazier, Jill Sinha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The statistics about incarceration in America during the past three decades indicate soaring numbers of people in prisons and jails. Upon release, ex-prisoners today have had longer incarceration periods, possess low levels of education or job skills, and often have significant physical and mental health problems and/or drug addiction. As a result, their re-entry into society is largely unsuccessful. In this policy analysis, we review the data on incarceration, its impact on those incarcerated, and the challenges of re-entry. We suggest methods for coping with this emerging social problem. Paramount will be the challenge to many social service systems to develop comprehensive sets of services such as independent housing and jobs alongside counseling and rehabilitation. 2008 by The Haworth Press. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-198
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Policy Practice
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Ex-prisoners
  • Incarceration
  • Prisoner re-entry
  • Social policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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