Author ORCID Identifier

Armstrong -

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2014

Publication Title

Executive Exchange

Last Page



risons. Of the currently incarcerated prisoners, more than 700,000 individuals are annually released. The probability that they will subsequently return to prison is around 50 percent. For the State of Texas, the figures are 154,656 inmates in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), 42,069 were released during Fiscal Year 2008, and about 50 percent will be re-incarcerated (TDCJ, 2009a, 2009b). We examine one of the factors that reduce the probability that released inmates recidivate: the level of support they expect to receive from family and their community upon their release. Numerous studies have been conducted on the issue of reentry into society. In a comprehensive study of recidivism among released prisoners, Beck and Shipley (1989: 1) found that “recidivism rates were higher among men, blacks, Hispanics, and persons who had not completed high school than among women, whites, non-Hispanics, and high school graduates.” Furthermore, prisoners who were young when they were released and had extensive criminal records were more likely to recidivate. However, relatively little research exists on the topic of family support. We plan to conduct several studies on this general topic. In this first stage, we limited ourselves to male felons. Research has shown that male and female inmates face different obstacles to successful reintegration into society and the same holds true for long term inmates (i.e., felons) and jail or state jail inmates. For instance, the lack of family relationships poses a greater problem for females, while the longer duration of incarceration leads to greater difficulties for felons to maintain supportive family relationships


This was originally published by the National Association of Probation Executives (NAPE) in their official publication, Executive Exchange. The original article can be accessed here:

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