Clinical Social Work Journal

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 5–21 | Cite as

Staying straight: lessons from ex-offenders

  • Thomas K. Kenemore
  • Ida Roldan


This paper reports findings of a qualitative study of the experiences of ex-offenders. Incarceration and release from prison create a particularly challenging set of experiences for individuals and families seeking help with social, emotional, and psychological problems, and present significant barriers to understanding for the practitioner. The broad question posed was: What is the experience of ex-offenders? We presumed that the provision of effective treatment services for ex-offenders would require that they first be empathically understood in depth and in all their complexity. Intensive study of twelve subjects produced findings illustrating their unique experience of external and internal challenges. Practice implications are discussed with the aim of helping clinicians understand and serve this underserved and vulnerable population more effectively.


ex-offender qualitative research recidivism clinical practice social service re-entry prison reform 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Clinical Social WorkChicagoUSA
  2. 2.WilmetteUSA

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