The significance of successful completion of a prison term and the eventual release from prison is that it marks not only the end of incarceration, but also the beginning of a second cycle of societal retribution, which inevitably comes, regardless of whether the former offender is reformed or not. The extent of retribution in the second cycle depends upon the offense type and is more pronounced if the offense was a felony, and particularly so if it was sexually-motivated. This study draws from intensive ethnographic interviews with former prison inmates with the aim of estimating the effect of incarceration on their lives while in prison and after release. The study reveals manifest and latent effects of incarceration and finds that further retribution continues upon release when society takes over with vindictiveness that follows the former offenders almost forever. The main policy implications of long-term imprisonment are made, and areas of further research suggested.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jospetermbuba/48/