The Public’s Stance on Prisoner Reentry: Policy Support and Personal Acceptance

Heather Ouellette, Brandon Applegate, Mateja Vuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Prior research has established the public recognizes the obstacles former prisoners’ face upon release from prison, and they support various offender reentry services. Still, we do not have a solid understanding of what affects public opinion on prisoner reentry nor is it clear that support for policies also extends to individuals’ willingness to engage with ex-offenders on a personal level. Drawing on a random sample of South Carolina residents, the current study examines the extent to which citizens’ belief in offenders’ redeemability influences their support for reentry initiatives at a policy and personal level. The results of this study show support for several types of reentry services, reveal that policy-level opinions and personal-level acceptance depend on the type of services, and demonstrate that belief in the redeemability of offenders is an important predictor of the degree to which the public embraces reentry programming.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)768-789
JournalAmerican Journal of Criminal Justice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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