African American Women with Incarcerated Mates

The Psychological and Social Impacts of Mass Imprisonment


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About the Book

 After four decades of mass incarceration in the U.S., the disproportionate number of black men in prisons has contributed to an epidemic of black women struggling to support fragile families. Yet the literature is scant on how African American women are affected by the imprisonment of their partners. Drawing on case studies and firsthand accounts, the author brings needed perspective to the political, economic and psychological challenges they face—including the experience of symbolic imprisonment or “serving time on the outside.”

Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Avon Hart-Johnson is a dedicated researcher, scholar, and advocate at the forefront of social justice initiatives. Her books and journal publications focus on the intersection of mass incarceration and its profound effects on children, families, and communities. She also leads national and international coalitions, driving discussions on social change, human rights, and reparative justice. She is a contributing faculty member at Walden University.

Bibliographic Details

Avon Hart-Johnson
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 211
Bibliographic Info: 11 photos, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6682-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3047-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Preface 1

Introduction 5

Part I: African American Women in the Age of Mass Incarceration

 1. “The Fixer”: Bring My Daddy Back! 12

 2. There Goes the Neighborhood 28

 3. The Cost of Remaining Connected 45

 4. Relationships, Children and Loss 63

Part II: The Theory of ­SIG-C

 5. SIG-C and Codependency 82

 6. “Down to ride” 93

 7. Charismatic and Controlling Mate—A ­Jekyll-and-Hyde Situation 103

Part III: Grief, Coping and Ritual

 8. Grief: “It’s like death” 112

 9. Coping: God, Sex and Rituals 124

Part IV: Cultural Sensitivity and Intervention Challenges

10. Cultural Awareness 134

11. Intervention 143

12. Poverty, Health and Social Consequences 155

Conclusion 163

Appendix A. AARM Example 171

Appendix B: Research Study Methodological Framework 179

Appendix C: Resources 189

References 191

Index 201

Book Reviews & Awards

“Hart-Johnson’s research and resulting theory sheds light on the suffering of the African American woman with an incarcerated partner. Practitioners who encounter clients who have incarcerated loved ones would be well-served to pick up this informative and eye-opening volume.”—New York Journal of Books