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Collisions of the Personal and the Public in Post-Realignment California: How Women and Front-Line Workers Manage Post-Incarceration Work

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2015
279 pages
This study examined ways in which formerly incarcerated women deal with various post-incarceration priorities, with attention to how they cope when their own priorities clash with those imposed on them by the institutions responsible for providing assistance to them; the study includes an examination of how post-incarceration experiences have changed in one California county under the Public Safety Realignment Act of 2011 (AB109).

The analyses show that what women do to meet their post-incarceration survival needs involves a range of personal and public (government agencies) priorities. They become involved with the welfare office to obtain the assistance they need as well as the government agency responsible for temporary, transitional housing programs. In the California county studied, the Public Safety Realignment Act of 2011 (AB 109), the personal and the public are colliding in a new way, as women are now subjected to surveillance by local law enforcement agencies tasked with conducting compliance checks. Front-line community supervision workers are functioning within institutions that have been variously affected by AB 109's mandate to ensure public safety while simultaneously minimizing the use of incarceration. By integrating the perspectives of both clients and workers in the field of post-incarceration services, the current study provides theoretical insights into how people experience and operate within public service institutions, particularly when it involves the change required in providing more intensive community-based supervision in lieu of incarceration. The first phase of this study involved participant observation of and in-depth interviews with formerly incarcerated women, as well as analysis of key policy and programmatic texts used in the institutions that process women. The second phase involved in-depth interviews with front-line workers in the institutions of probation and parole. Extensive tables and figures and 125 references

Date Published: March 1, 2015