A recently posted article by The Marshall Project provides an overview of the findings of the Boston Reentry Study, which tracks the lives of 135 men and women who left state prison in Massachusetts for communities in the Boston area in 2012-2013. The study seeks to explore the impact of incarceration on families and communities.
Led by Bruce Western (Harvard) and Anthony Braga (Rutgers), and Rhiana Kohl (Research Unit, Massachusetts Department of Correction), the resulting documents provide not only data, but a rare glimpse into the life histories of incarcerated people, from childhood through prison and beyond.
A few of central findings of the study include that study participants suffered from childhood trauma, they did not find support in school, and violence was a normal part of their lives before prison. Their stories also show that there is no clear divide between victim and offender, acquiring a job post-release can be transformative but is very difficult, and the people who are more closely supervised are likely to go back to prison. The project’s results will continue to be released, peer reviewed, and published more thoroughly.
Read the full Marshall Project article for more details on the findings here.