Cycling in and out Incarceration: The Impact of Race, Gender, and Class on Mass Incarceration in the United States



Wayland, Mary

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The present study focused on experiences of formerly incarcerated women and how their race, gender and class effected their experiences during and following incarceration. Using the theories of critical race, intersectionality, and anti-Black racism; interviews were conducted with eight formerly incarcerated women to explore (1) if class played a part in their criminal justice experience (2) if participants had minor children and how her incarceration impacted them (3) how incarceration effected their ability to find housing, employment, and support their family. These women’s experiences yielded powerful findings that provide a deeper understanding of the unique experiences and challenges that can inform academic and legislative professionals on tools and opportunities that can address barriers that limit post-incarceration success as well and reduce the need for incarceration.



Mass incarceration, Poverty, Sexual abuse, War on Drugs, Black women, Prison