Although experiences of trauma that occur prior to or during incarceration are relatively well explored among justice-involved individuals, little is known about the traumatic events individuals experience after leaving incarceration and returning home. This report responds to this gap in the research. We suspect that trauma experienced during reentry complicates the reentry process and add layers of psychological distress and mental health challenges to an individual’s transition home.
We explore experiences of trauma and resource loss together to document how many individuals leaving prison must process and overcome extraordinary life events and profound grief while simultaneously managing the deterioration of the tangible resources that would help them to cope with reentry.
Experiences of trauma and resource loss – and the trauma symptoms and destabilization which may follow – have the potential to disrupt reentry success and complicate a time in an individual’s life that is often already characterized by instability and chaos.