Desistance, persistence, resilience and resistance: A qualitative exploration of how Black fathers with criminal records navigate employer discrimination

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

While research suggests a growing proclivity amongst contemporary fathers towards emotional involvement and child caregiving, studies indicate that most men still experience unrelenting pressure to provide financially for their family. For some fathers, the ability to spend time with their children is contingent on financial provision. Fathering, therefore, can be dependent on employment. The intersection of Blackness, maleness, and a criminal record, however, often results in employer discrimination, which hinders reentering Black men’s ability to secure legitimate revenue streams and achieve fathering expectations. In response to these barriers, many men agentically create opportunities for themselves in order to provide for their families. Framed using Sites of Resilience and Posttraumatic Growth, the current study draws from qualitative data and adds to the literature by focusing on the act of hurdling rather than the hurdles faced upon reentry. Findings demonstrate how hustling upon reentry is not a display of persistent criminal character but, rather, reflects a resilient response to systemic racism and blocked opportunities. The discussion on policy implications is led by participant suggestions on how to deter criminal activity while providing opportunities for men with criminal records to support their families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPunishment and Society
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • collateral consequences
  • desistance
  • posttraumatic growth
  • reentry
  • sites of resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Law

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