After Life ImprisonmentReentry in the Era of Mass Incarceration

After Life ImprisonmentReentry in the Era of Mass Incarceration

Marieke Liem

Print publication date: 2017

ISBN: 9781479806928

Publisher: NYU Press

Abstract

Today, one out of every nine prisoners is serving a life sentence. Even though a proportion is serving a sentence of life without parole, the majority of lifers will at one point be released to society. We know, however, very little on what happens to those sentenced with life imprisonment after release. As they have been removed from society for decades, their re-entry process cannot be equated to that of other delinquents who have served much shorter prison sentences. To shed light on this question, this book discusses the life histories of more than sixty homicide offenders who completed a life sentence. Some were re-incarcerated, while others were able to build a life beyond bars. Against the backdrop of tough-on-crime policies, the book takes the reader on a journey into the lives of these men and women, the events that lead to their incarceration, and the struggles they faced upon release. The goal of this book is to offer the reader a unique insight into the lives of long-term incarcerated individuals and to provide them with a new understanding on how to explain their successes and failures post-release. Not only does the book move forward our theoretical understanding of crime throughout the life course, it also provides a basis for future discussion for policy and legislature changes in the context of the goals, costs and effects of long-term imprisonment.