Understanding the Lived Experiences of Mothers Post-Incarceration

DeVonne Allen, Fordham University


This study used a phenomenological method to explore the lived experiences of mothers post-incarceration. Study questions included: (a) What is the lived experience of mothers connecting with children during reintegration? (b) What are mothers' perspectives of their capacity to fulfill their mothering role during reintegration? and (c) How do mothers describe connections to community systems during reintegration? Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 mothers to obtain their unique perspectives and Relational-Cultural Theory was used to discuss findings. It was noted that mothers considerably lacked the experience of mutual empathy in their own childhood and current life. Mothers experienced many points of disconnection with children and were in need of support to reenter relationships with them in a way that promoted a shared understanding of each other. Overall, mothers experienced significant isolation in personal and community-level relationships and were in need of greater empathetic connections on both levels.

Subject Area

Social research|Social work|Womens studies|Criminology|Individual & family studies

Recommended Citation

Allen, DeVonne, "Understanding the Lived Experiences of Mothers Post-Incarceration" (2019). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI13884734.