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The Prison Credential Dilemma: How formerly incarcerated men find work with human capital from prison

Thursday, April 14, 2022 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Martha Van Rensselaer Hall, 1219

Although employment is central to successful prison reentry, formerly incarcerated people, especially Black men, often struggle to find work because of discrimination and low levels of education. Prison credentials are proposed as one solution to alleviate these challenges. Yet, evidence regarding their efficacy has been mixed for nearly half a century. This talk draws on the lived experiences of 50 formerly incarcerated men to understand why prison credentials often fall short of improving their job prospects and to highlight the innovative strategies they subsequently use to navigate the labor market and find quality work of interest. The talk will conclude by identifying the major implications and future directions for research, policies, and practices aiming to improve the reentry process and alleviate social and economic inequalities.

Sadé Lindsay is a sociologist by training whose research interests lie at the intersection of criminal justice, punishment, racial inequality, and public policy. She examines how race impacts responses to deviance and crime, gendered experiences of incarceration, prisoner reentry and post-release employment, and how drug policy shapes substance use. Her scholarship has received numerous awards and been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Justice, the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy, the American Society of Criminology, among other organizations.

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Event Type

Lecture, Webinar, Presentation


College of Human Ecology, Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, Brooks School of Public Policy

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Contact Name

Sarah Harrington


Sadé Lindsay

Speaker Affiliation

Brooks School of Public Policy

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