Community Relationship Quality and Reincarceration Following Rural Drug-Using Women’s Reentry From Jail

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interpersonal relationships and social support are important factors in women’s successful reentry from incarceration, but limited research has explored the role of women’s relationships to their communities during the reentry process. In the current study, women were recruited from three rural Appalachian jails, screened for high-risk behaviors (including drug use and unprotected sex), and interviewed at 12 months postrelease (N = 339). Interviews included the Relational Health Indices–Community scale, a validated measure of women’s relationships in community contexts, with subscales for empowerment/zest, engagement, and authenticity. Women who were reincarcerated during the 12-month postrelease period (43.4%) were younger, less employed, more likely to have used illicit drugs, and reported lower-quality community relationships at 12-month follow-up. Multivariate logistic regression models indicated that the effect of community relationships may be driven by the engagement and empowerment/zest constructs. Results suggest that community connectedness may relate to more successful reentry outcomes for rural women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)853-871
Number of pages19
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research reported in this manuscript was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under Award 1R01-DA033866. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health or the University of Kentucky. The authors would also like to recognize the cooperation and partnership with the Kentucky Department of Corrections and the local jails, including the Laurel County Detention Center, Kentucky River Regional Jail, and the Leslie County Detention Center.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology.


  • community
  • recidivism
  • relationships
  • rural
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology (all)
  • Law


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