Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Juan Battle

Subject Categories

African American Studies | Criminology | Criminology and Criminal Justice | Sociology


Carceral, Citizenship, Civil Death, Mass Incarceration, Prisoner Reentry, Prison Industrial Complex


In 2010, the United States prison releases exceeded prison admission for the first time since the Bureau of Justice Statistics began collecting jurisdictional data in 1977. Prisoner reentry--the transition from prison to community--has grown exponentially in the 21st century. While individuals are coming home in larger quantities, many formerly incarcerated men and women lose social, political, and economic rights, otherwise known as civil death. The fundamental purpose of this dissertation is to investigate the impact of civil death on prisoner reentry. More specifically, how does the loss of civil rights construct notions of citizenship for recently released men and women? In addition, how do men and women navigate and negotiate the reentry process with both legal-related barriers imposed by the State as well as social obstacles created by incarceration? A community-based reentry program in Newark, New Jersey, is the field site of this research. Employing qualitative methods: interviews, focus groups, and ethnographic observations, this research explores the development of the prison industrial complex, which has led to mass incarceration and the growing prisoner reentry industry. The findings of this research give insight to the furthered underdevelopment of low-income communities via the carceral continuum.