From the passage of Bill C-10, with its punitive, tough-on-crime provisions, to sensationalist media accounts of dangerous ex-convicts, it is evident that Canada is a country that is taking an increasingly hard line on crime. The truth is, however, that the vast majority of prisoners who serve out their sentences do not re-offend, but rather reintegrate into society and never see the inside of a prison cell again. Why, then, is there such a lack of focus on successful resettlement -- not only by politicians and journalists but also in criminology research? This silence regarding those who “make good” perpetuates the illusion of the “dangerous ex-convict” and renders invisible the complex and sometimes treacherous path out of prison. On the Outside illuminates that journey, exploring the post-carceral lives of men who have successfully resettled into the community after serving at least a decade in Canada’s penitentiaries. Discussing the transition from imprisonment, release, and re-entry through to the challenges of resettlement, this book will change the way you think about Canada’s prisoners and open up the debate on the perils of tough-on-crime legislation.
This book will appeal to scholars and students of criminology, sociology, and critical human geography, as well as any reader interested in social justice issues.
The greatest strength of On the Outside lies in its ability to bring into view the standpoints of men who have typically been demonized. By focusing on their experiences of resettlement, this book addresses a key issue in criminology as well as public debates about crime and safety. This is an important and significant work.
1 Telling Tales: State Talk, Con Talk, and Back Talk
2 Introducing the Men
Part 1: Inside Out
3 Being In: Negotiating Prison
4 Getting Out: Finding a Way to the Street
5 Starting Out: Halfway There
Part 2: Outside In
6 Negotiating "Freedom": Echoes and Reverberations
7 Identity: Fractured and Fragmented Selves
8 Stigma: Negative Expectations and Amazing Reversals
9 Home and Homelessness: Being In and Out of Place
10 Work and Finance: Navigating the New Economy
11 Interactions: Etiquette, Intimacy, and Fitting In
Final Thoughts: Understanding Life outside “the Rabbit Hole”
Appendix: Methodological Considerations
Contemporary Processes of Criminalization
Behind the Walls
Inmates and Correctional Officers on the State of Canadian Prisons
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