Incarceration of Mothers or Female Guardians Analysis

Subject: Law
Pages: 3
Words: 580
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: PhD


Recidivism among people who served out a jail term is quite high especially when it comes to low-income communities. It has been acknowledged that corrective programs can assist inmates to adapt better to the new life and integrate into the community after imprisonment (Latessa, Listwan & Koetzle, 2014; McClure et al., 2015). Nonetheless, the majority of former inmates find themselves in jail within quite a short period even though some of them go through a reintegration program (Berg & Huebner, 2011). This shows that many corrective measures are inefficient. It is believed that programs involving the focus on the development of family ties are quite efficient, but the studies on the inmates’ attitudes towards them are quite scarce. The case study approach can be used to identify female prisoners’ ideas on programs, which will help identify reasons for recidivism as well as possible ways to improve existing programs.

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Purpose Statement

The purpose of this study is to identify female inmates’ attitudes towards a corrective program focusing on family ties. Programs involving sessions with children have a significant positive outcome when it comes to prisoners’ readiness to reintegrate into the community (Hallett and Johnson, 2014). This study will focus on female inmates’ assessment of and ideas on the program and their willingness to reintegrate into society. Some recommendations for improving the program will also be provided.

Research Question

After the completion of a program involving sessions with their children, are mothers or female guardians less likely to get engaged in unlawful activities?

To answer this question, interviews, as well as the analysis of reports on inmates’ behavior, participation in the program and the data on recidivism will be utilized.


After the completion of a program involving sessions with their children, mothers or female guardians are less likely to re-offend.

This is a measurable hypothesis as identification on inmates’ attitudes towards the programs as well as data on their participation and recidivism can help identify the efficiency of the program.

Research Plan

Since the study focuses on attitudes of mothers and female guardians, female prisoners between 18 and 45 years old having one child or more will take part in the research. Women coming from low-income communities will participate as this population is often more likely to re-offend. Admittedly, females have the closest ties to their children and, hence, this population will be involved in the study. Ten inmates participating in a program focusing on family links will be interviewed. The record of their performance during the program will be analyzed. The record of recidivism among people who participated in this program will also be considered. The independent variable for this study will be the program and the participant’s age. The dependent variables will be the program’s elements, the number of children’s visitation, and family ties.

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The chosen approach (case study) is appropriate as it will help answer the research question since females will share their ideas on the program and its outcomes, as well as their plans for the future. The researcher will ask open-ended questions. At that, major themes that will be recurrent will be analyzed with particular attention. There will be three interviews with each participant (at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the program). To ensure the validity of the study, such methods as triangulation, thick description, and member checks will be employed. As far as ethical issues are concerned, written consent will be acquired. Confidentiality and anonymity will also be ensured.


Berg, M.T., & Huebner, B.M. (2011). Reentry and the ties that bind: An examination of social ties, employment, and recidivism. Justice Quarterly, 28(2), 382-410.

Hallet, M., & Johnson, B. (2014). The resurgence of religion in America’s prisons. Religions, 5(1), 663-683.

Latessa, E.J., Listwan, S.J., & Koetzle, D. (2014). What works (and doesn’t) in reducing recidivism. New York, NY: Routledge.

McClure, H.H., Shortt, J.W., Eddy, J.M., Holmes, A., Van Uum, S., Russell, E., … Martinez, C.R. (2015). Associations among mother-child contact, parenting stress, and mother and child adjustment related to incarceration. In J. Poehlmann-Tynan (Ed.), Children’s contact with incarcerated parents: Implications for policy and intervention (pp. 59-83). New York, NY: Springer.