The crux of context: an examination of how collateral consequences legislation impacts the desistance process

Kerrison, Erin M.
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University of Delaware
This study makes use of quantitative and qualitative data collected in the NIJ-funded Roads Diverge: Long-Term Patterns of Relapse, Recidivism and Desistance for a Re-Entry Cohort project. This research seeks to reveal the relationship between collateral consequences legislation and continued patterns of substance abuse and offending among a contemporary drug-involved prisoner reentry cohort. Guided by age-graded social control, critical race, and intersectional theoretical frameworks, this study explores the extent to which employment status shapes reoffending outcomes and the degree to which that relationship is conditioned by law and legal institutional practices. In addition, this study investigates whether individuals' perception of and engagement with this body of law also steers reoffending and substance use relapse. Quantitative offending trajectory records and qualitative life-history analyses are disaggregated by race and gender. Theoretical contributions and policy implications are also discussed.