Episode 232 - Dr. Elizabeth Allen: Women and Mass Incarceration: Unique Needs and Challenges

Monday, January 29, 2018, 8:02:17 AM

Image of Dr. Elizabeth K. Allen

In this episode, our guest Dr. Elizabeth Allen discusses her experiences as a practitioner and researcher, exploring the unique needs of women involved in the correctional system and how to promote their successful reintegration into their families and communities. Dr. Allen describes the importance of not only focusing on women's individual resources but also accounting for the socio-political structural factors that must be addressed if women are to reconnect with their families and their communities of support.

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Average Rating: 5stars  engaging and inspiring!, Sunday, February 11, 2018

By Sarah :

Dr. Allen provides her professional experience in regards to a 21-year career as a practitioner within the correctional system. She shares her story of implementing support groups within the prison community which allowed for reciprocal rehabilitation. Female prisoners who had suffered their own traumatic events were given the opportunity to serve as mentors to other inmates and provide one another with valuable information and support through transition period to their newly changed life within prison walls. The population of female inmates is often disregarded by society. This podcast gives listeners information that is often overlooked or unknown by outsiders. Allen explains that it can be extremely difficult for prisoners to adjust to a long-term sentence, different lifestyle, and living with mixed populations of individuals. Dr. Allen provides the unintended consequences of mass incarceration of women which involves severing ties to community resources which makes it difficult for women to re-integrate back into society. Overall an very enlightening podcast which engages the listener and provide an avenue for more personal research on this marginalized population!!

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Average Rating: 5stars  truly amazing work with an overlooked population , Sunday, February 11, 2018

By Caleigh Ames :

I found Dr. Elizabeth Allen’s podcast enlightening because it offered listeners a new perspective towards women involved in the correctional system. I found her research on how women can reintegrate into society successfully, refreshing and unique. She points out that while there are many factors that contribute to a woman being detained, there are just as many factors that affect them even after their incarceration. In the end, the women themselves have to have the want to change but also, the community around them, for example, police officers, need to accept them as well. Dr. Allen’s description of how change is not a “yes” or “no” answer truly changed my way of thinking about recovery. You have to allow for mistakes within the recovery period; it is a process. This reminded me of my work with domestic violence and sexual assault survivors; they have to accept that recovery is a lifestyle. It is sometimes hard for these survivors to just walk away from their abusive situation and while that might frustrate them, they work on little by little. Women offenders are a population that I think is overlooked in the social work community and some may fear to take it on. Dr. Allen's work is truly inspiring. I will definitely be keeping up with her further research with this population.

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