Professor, Jane Addams College of Social Work
- Incarceration of men negatively impacts the female partners of male prisoners, leading to economic strain, stress due to unfulfilled emotional or sexual needs and anger toward the male partner for having committed the acts that led to incarceration.
- Prisoner reentry poses unique challenges and the potential for conflict among partners that, if not effectively managed, can lead to violence.
- Female victims of domestic violence often view the abuse as a personal matter and attempt to resolve the issue themselves rather than seek the help of others, particularly law enforcement.
- Female victims of domestic violence need assistance in preparing themselves and their children for the return of an incarcerated partner.
- Incarcerated males need preparation prior to reuniting with partners and families.
In the article, “Domestic Violence and Prisoner Reentry: Experiences of African American Women and Men,” Hairston examines a series of first-hand accounts from African American women and their African American male intimate partners when those partners are transitioning from prison into the community. The first-hand accounts are based on discussions conducted by Safe Return in an effort to better understand and share concerns and challenges surrounding intimate partner violence. Hairston finds that there is little research on the relationship between prisoner reentry and domestic violence and in order to address this issue, there needs to be coordinated efforts to improve policies and strategies by policymakers, program planners, women’s advocates, service providers, and the men and women directly affected by the issue.