People, Places, and Things: How Female Ex-Prisoners Negotiate Their Neighborhood Context

Neighborhoods impact the reentry and desistance process, particularly for Black women. Based on multiple interviews with Black women with criminal records in Chicago, the author finds that the women reframe the lessons they learn in self-help and recovery programs to foster agency and confidence within themselves. While they do appear to internalize to some extent the notion of individual responsibility, the women in this study also reject the assumed need to avoid their old neighborhoods and instead find positive ways to redefine their identities and existence within those neighborhoods.


Leverentz, A. (2010). People, Places, and Things: How Female Ex-Prisoners Negotiate Their Neighborhood Context. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 39(6), 646–681. https://doi.org/10.1177/0891241610377787

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Open Access Source: https://booksc.org/book/40787267/fc4ea1