'Keeping the Faith': How incarcerated African American mothers use religion and spirituality to cope with imprisonment

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15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous studies investigate whether religion aids in rehabilitation and acclimation to the prison structure among the incarcerated. However, few studies investigate whether and how religion and spirituality can assist incarcerated persons as they attempt to cope with the strains of fulfilling family roles while behind bars. Neither does previous prison research adequately investigate the intersections of race, gender, religion, spirituality and mothering. The present study is based on focus groups with fifteen African American mothers in a Midwestern maximum-security prison. Findings give voice to this marginalized group and illustrate the ways in which these mothers utilize religion and spirituality to make sense of their incarceration and cope with the role strain associated with being an imprisoned mother. Implications for prison policy and future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-347
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of African American Studies
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science

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