“Free but Still Walking the Yard”: Prisonization and the Problems of Reentry

People returning to society after incarceration often experience a type of shock while they are forced to reorient themselves to a new social and physical environment. This feeling usually fades over time, but is often ignored in reentry research. Drawing on interviews and observation with people recently released from prison, this ethnographic study examines how people navigate this 'reorientation' period. The author highlights examples that are often overlooked, such as craving certain meals that they ate while incarcerated or feeling the need to wear sandals in their own shower because that's what they did while incarcerated, to show how difficult it is for a person to 'retrain' their mind and body after it has been so used to living in captivity.


Martin, L. (2018). “Free but Still Walking the Yard”: Prisonization and the Problems of Reentry. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 47(5), 671–694. https://doi.org/10.1177/0891241617737814

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Open Access Source: https://booksc.org/book/67599691/9617b7

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