Making it on the Outside: Understanding barriers to women's post-incarceration reintegration

Tara Opsal, Allison Foley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The increasing rate of imprisonment in the United States over the past few decades resulted in record numbers of individuals reentering society upon release. As men and women exit through prison gates, they encounter a range of obstacles that complicate their efforts to "make it" on the outside. Given the gendered impact of recent punitive prison policies, this essay focuses on women and traces their steps as they navigate the many complex, interrelated, and competing obstacles to successful reintegration post-incarceration. In particular, this essay describes how many barriers, and women's reentry experience more broadly, are shaped by gender, race, and class. Further, drawing on the feminist pathways perspective, we examine women's reentry in light of their pathways into offending focusing, in particular, on their victimization history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-277
Number of pages13
JournalSociology Compass
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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