David J Harding, Jeffrey D Morenoff and Jessica JB Wyse. On the Outside: Prisoner Reentry and Reintegration

AuthorNaomi F Sugie
Published date01 July 2020
Date01 July 2020
Subject MatterBook reviews
untitled Punishment & Society
Book review
2020, Vol. 22(3) 383–385
! The Author(s) 2020
Article reuse guidelines:
DOI: 10.1177/1462474520904992
David J Harding, Jeffrey D Morenoff and Jessica JB Wyse. On the Outside:
Prisoner Reentry and Reintegration. The University of Chicago Press:
Chicago, IL, 2019; 304 pp. (including index): ISBN: 9780226607641,
$30.00 (pbk)
By now, it is well recognized that reentry is a critical life transition in the lives of
many people in the United States. Experienced by over 600,000 people each year, it
is chaotic and unstable, involving disruptions to all aspects of life at the same
time—e.g., work, housing, health, and relationships with family and friends.
Because of this instability and complexity, researchers find various methodological
ways of studying this key event, such as focusing on one domain like employment
or using administrative records to follow people’s experiences over time.
These approaches provide key insights on reentry, but by themselves, they are
often incomplete or fragmented.
In Harding, Morenoff, and Wyse’s book, On the Outside, we see a more com-
prehensive picture of reentry, with its complexities and variations. We read about
individuals who are navigating multiple contexts of families, neighborhoods, and
institutions. We hear about the importance, but also the strains and stresses, of
family relationships and support. We see how health issues and substance use and
addiction are intimately tied to housing and employment instability. These are
important contributions in a literature that is sometimes focused on recidivism.
Methodologically, the book’s findings are based primarily on in-depth inter-
views with six focal participants, who were followed for up to three years after their
release from prison in Michigan. The six were chosen from a group of 22 people,
who were followed over the same period, totaling over 150 interviews for the
group. The experiences of these participants...

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