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Examining the Experiences of Women who Have Recidivated: A Qualitative Analysis

24 July 2009


This study describes the experiences of 16 women who recidivated and returned to an Oregon prison. Using a semi-structured interview format, the women were interviewed about their past experiences in prison, their experiences after release, and their experience of being incarcerated again. The interviews were then analyzed using a qualitative method, specifically phenomenology. The women’s responses were divided into two broad categories, subjective/agency factors and social/environmental factors. Related to the subjective/agency factors, the women identified both cognitive and emotional components. When they discussed social/environmental factors, the women described life crisis, relationships, and subsistence conditions. The results both supported and added to findings reported in previous research. Directions for future research are explored and discussed.


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