A Qualitative Analysis on the Effects of Social Support among Women of the Reentry Population




Cantu, Katherine
Spence-Almaguer, Emily
Rohr, Danielle
Chhetri, Shlesma


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Purpose: Promotion of positive social support through family reunification and mentorship through the Second Chance Mentoring (SCM) program reduces risk of recidivism among moderate-to-high risk incarcerated women. Methods: The SCM program is offered through a collaboration between Family Pathfinders and three partner organizations in Tarrant County. SCM provides assistance to women who have been incarcerated to support their successful reintegration in to the community. Information is collected during incarceration to determine the recidivism risk level using the Ohio Risk Assessment Scale (ORAS) scores. Participants are enrolled in 12 months of mentoring services upon their release from prison or jail. Post-release, Family Pathfinders uses progress notes to monitor SCM service activities and other information which may contribute to reentry success or failure. These progress notes were analyzed by the evaluation team at UNTHSC to code for different types and levels of support which may promote or reduce recidivism among women. Results: The initial analysis of a sample size made of 50 women indicates that those who actively engage in a mentoring relationship are more likely to seek assistance elsewhere in order to promote successful reentry. Women who have support of negative influences have more issues becoming self-sufficient and set minimal goals for behavior change by the end of the 12 month program. Conclusions: A mentoring relationship with women who pose a high risk of recidivism upon release provides a foundation for building additional supportive relationships. Ensuring a reliable support system to incarcerated women may increase the effectiveness of successful community reintegration.