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738 days and a wake up: An autoethnograpic investigation of being a woman inmate
Labio, Llewelyn T.
Spitzberg, BrianMobley, Alan
Previously incarcerated women face challenges that affect their lives post incarceration. The ability to desist from crime and cultivate resilience in order to better their futures are hindered by structures of power that reinforce a criminal identity inside prison walls. Male and female prisoners’ identities are threatened, reshaped, and changed due to the often extreme and inhumane conditions of incarceration. As women in particular decide to communicate experiences about their incarceration to others, which may include tales of violence, trauma, drug use, and sexual encounters, they face social stigmas in their friendships, romantic relationships, familiar relationships. This communication may push them further toward an identity viewed as “deviant” by society. This autoethnography draws on the author’s experience of being incarcerated for 738 days in three of California’s State Prisons and Camps, and focuses on the process of coping with layered accounts of her own identity and a critical investigation of relevant scholarship. Autoethnography offers one way in which lived experiences can texture existing scholarship in nuanced ways, illuminating the experiences of prison and being formerly incarcerated, the ways correctional facilities rehabilitate previously incarcerated women, and the role communication plays in each. Keywords: women prisons, incarceration, trauma, communication, stigma
Professional Studies and Fine Arts
Master of Arts (M.S.) San Diego State University, 2018
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