Prisoner re-entry in Cape Town - an exploratory study
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This study is concerned with the immediate post-release period and asked a very simple question: “What happens to people immediately after they have been released from prison?” The question is aimed at gaining a deeper and empirical understanding of what prisoner re-entry and reintegration into society mean and what the obstacles are to successful reintegration. When people’s lives have effectively been put on hold for several months or years, how do they pick up the strings where they had left them, if there are indeed strings to pick up? Increasingly scholars are using the term ‘re-entry’ to describe the process of coming back to society from prison and being part of daily societal life. When discussing prisoner re-entry and reintegration it is important to understand that prisoners and ex-prisoners are not a representative sample of the total population. Apart from the obvious demographic characteristic that 98% are male and that they are predominantly between the ages of 18 and 35 years, they have other characteristics placing significant hurdles in the path of re-entry and reintegration. From research done in the UK it is known that ex-prisoners have behind them a history of social exclusion.