Advocates have long raised concerns about the potential for partner violence after a spouse’s or partner’s return from prison, but few programs or policies exist to prevent it. In an era in which experiences of incarceration and reentry—and by extension, experiences of a partner’s or coparent’s incarceration and reentry—are commonplace in low-income urban communities, the safety of families reuniting after a prison stay merits serious attention. The current study examines qualitative data from 167 reentering men and their partners to identify contextual influences on post-prison partner violence. Insights from the data offer a valuable starting point for future research and for considering how prevention could effectively target economic, physical, social, and cognitive conditions at multiple social-ecological levels.
Partner violence after reentry from prison
By Tasseli Eliot McKay, Megan Lee Comfort, Justin Glen Landwehr, Erin K. Kennedy, Oliver Williams.
March 2020 Open Access Peer Reviewed
- Applying the Social Ecological Framework to qualitative interview data on post-prison partner violence from reentering men and their partners, we identified contextual influences on partner violence at multiple ecological levels.
- Narratives suggested that violence arose amid the adverse cognitive, physical, and social conditions that surrounded couples’ intimate and coparenting relationships during the period of reentry from prison.
- These conditions included (1) poverty and economic exclusion, (2) deteriorated communication and lack of information, (3) exposure to violence, and (4) social isolation and disempowerment.
- Results suggest that systemic change, across ecological levels, is needed to prevent violence in couples reuniting after incarceration.
McKay, T. E., Comfort, M. L., Landwehr, J. G., Kennedy, E. K., & Williams, O. (2020). Partner violence after reentry from prison: Putting the problem in context. RTI Press. RTI Press Publication No. PB-0022-2004 https://doi.org/10.3768/rtipress.2020.pb.0022.2004
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