Formerly Incarcerated Latinxs’ Perspectives on the Psychological Impact of Incarceration & Reintegration: The Impacts of Trauma, Identity, and Culture on Transition
Racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system, with individuals who identify as Hispanic or Latinx accounting for over 40% of those incarcerated in U.S. federal prisons. Extant research on the psychological impacts of incarceration and their potential impacts on the reintegration experiences and successes of formerly incarcerated individuals is limited, and even less research specifically focuses on individuals who are Latinx and formerly incarcerated. The purpose of the present study was to contribute to the literature on the psychological effects of incarceration on reintegration for Latinx individuals, as well as explore the potential role that culture and psychological factors play in formerly incarcerated Latinxs’ efforts to reintegrate. Using a qualitative, interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) method, the following study presents findings from interviews with five formerly incarcerated Latinx individuals. Results are presented as individual participant narratives and later organized into themes, which include: (1) Psychological Impacts of Incarceration, (2) Effects on Reintegration, (3) Experiences with Support Services, and (4) Role of Cultural and Social Identities. Findings suggest that the psychological impacts of incarceration are individually and interpersonally constructed, through the lenses of culture and identity. Discussion of findings, suggestions for future research, as well as the implications of findings for clinicians, educators and advocates, are discussed.