“When She Says Daddy”: Black Fathers’ Recidivism following Reentry from Jail
1.1. Incarceration in Jails
1.2. Reentry and Recidivism
1.3. Child and Family Factors
1.4. Theoretical Framework
1.5. The Current Study
1.6. Research Questions
- How do Black fathers experience fatherhood in the context of incarceration and does this relate to their plans for reunion with their children following release?
- What is the rate of new convictions and incarcerations for this sample of Black fathers with young children 1 year after the father’s reentry from jail?
- Does frequency of father–child contact mediate the relation between father–caregiver relationships and not recidivating and is this indirect effect conditional on other factors?
2.1. Research Design
2.4.1. Demographic and Family Information
2.4.3. Father–Child Contact
2.4.4. Family Support
2.4.5. Fathers’ Feelings about Children’s Caregivers
2.4.6. Alcohol and Substance Use
2.5. Plan of Analysis
2.5.1. Qualitative Analysis
2.5.2. Quantitative Analysis
3.1. How Do Black Fathers Experience Fatherhood in the Context of Incarceration and Does This Relate to Their Plans for Reunion with Their Children following Release?
3.1.1. Father as Nurturer
3.1.2. Father as Protector
3.1.3. Father as Provider
3.2. What Is the Rate of New Convictions and Incarcerations for This Sample of Black Fathers with Young Children 1 Year after the Father’s Reentry from Jail?
3.3. Does Frequency of Father–Child Contact Mediate the Relation between Father–Caregiver Relationships and Not Recidivating and Is This Indirect Effect Conditional on Other Factors?
3.3.1. Predictors of Contact with Children
|Plan to Live w/Child (W)||0.524||0.199||2.635||0.128||0.921||0.010|
|IFF-CG * Plan to Live w/Child (X*W)||0.040||0.016||2.557||0.009||0.072||0.013|
|MSPSS Family (Z)||0.006||0.013||0.439||−0.021||0.033||0.662|
|IFF-CG * MSPSS Family (X*Z)||0.003||0.001||2.755||0.001||0.005||0.007|
|Employed Prior to Incarceration||−0.090||0.188||−0.482||−0.464||0.284||0.632|
|Current Jail Stay: Child Support||−0.672||0.236||−2.841||−1.143||−0.201||0.006|
|Model Summary R2 = 0.437, F(9,74) = 6.387, p < 0.001|
|Father–Child Contact (M)||0.702||0.831||2.02||−0.927||2.332||0.398|
|Plan to Live w/Child (W)||−1.243||0.716||0.29||−2.646||0.159||0.082|
|IFF-CG * Plan to Live w/Child (X*W)||0.115||0.889||1.12||−1.627||1.857||0.897|
|Father–Child Contact * Plan to Live w/Child (M*W)||0.006||0.052||1.01||0.910||−0.095||0.107|
|Employed Prior to Incarceration||1.109||0.532||3.03||0.067||2.151||0.037|
|Current Jail Stay: Child Support||−0.169||0.696||0.84||−1.533||1.194||0.808|
|Effect of M*W on the probability of Y = 1, Wald 𝟀2(1) = 3.56, p = 0.059|
|Model Summary 𝟀2(9) = 15.790, p = 0.071|
R2McFadden = 0.143, R2Cox-Snell = 0.171, R2Nagelkirk = 0.234
3.3.2. Predictors of Not Recidivating
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Measure||Range||Mean||SD||(n out of 84)|
|Total father–child contact per week||0–9||2.13||2.81|
|Employed prior to incarceration||50|
|Current jail stay offense: Child support||17|
|no alcohol problems||44|
|borderline or alcohol problems||40|
|no drug problem||39|
|Theme||Qualitative Results||Example Quote||Quantitative Results||Integration of Results|
|Father as Provider for Child and Family||Fathers spoke about their desire to act as primary financial providers for their family.||“I want to get a job to get my family on my feet. Take them to the park. Play games with them”.||Paternal pre-incarceration employment related to increased odds of not recidivating in the first reentry year.||Fathers were motivated to work, provide for their families, and “treat” their children to positive experiences. Employment prior to incarceration may also make it easier to find a job following incarceration in jail, thus facilitating lower recidivism.|
|Many fathers’ post-incarceration plans involved purchasing items for their children or taking them places.||“I’ll get released in a week, so that leaves me 20 days to get a job and a paycheck so I can get her a birthday present. If I can’t do that, it will be a real depressor”.|
|Father as Nurturer of Child||Fathers spoke about their children as primary motivators for not reoffending.||“Just make up for lost time, you know? Never leave [my son] again hopefully”.||Frequency of father–child contact during incarceration was not directly related to reoffending in the first reentry year in the quantitative analyses. However, when fathers planned to live with the focal child after release, more father–child contact during incarceration related to less recidivism.||Fathers wanted to care for and nurture their children and one of the most difficult parts of incarceration was separation from their children. Children provide motivation for successful reentry. One way to care for and nurture children during incarceration was to have contact with them through visits and phone calls.|
|Visits during incarceration helped some fathers stay connected to their children as they planned for release.||“I kind of know when I’m getting out so it’s a weight lifted off my shoulders. Now I have contact visits so it’s a lot better”.|
|Father as Protector from the Criminal Justice System||Some fathers did not want their children to come to the jail to visit them because they were concerned about intergenerational cycles of criminal justice involvement.||“I don’t want [my son] here. When I was growing up I saw my dad through the glass”.||There was a significant correlation between the “father as protector” code and frequency of children’s visits to the jail; there was no correlation between “father as protector” and frequency of phone calls.||Fathers who were concerned about exposing their children to the carceral environment sacrificed seeing their children; however, many of them were able to talk on the phone to their children regularly instead.|
|Some fathers did not want children to see them incarcerated because of stigma, shame, or wanting to better fulfill their role as father.||“Don’t want him to see me this way—I want him to be on a different path—I don’t want him to become comfortable with seeing me in jail”.|
|Father–Child Contact and Family Support||For many fathers, making plans to rejoin their family’s daily routines was an important piece of their coping with their incarceration.||“Not being able to talk with her, tell her I love her. Not being able to make pancakes. Not being able to be a father one-hundred percent”.||When fathers planned to live with their child and also received average or high levels of family support, positive father–caregiver relationships were associated with high levels of father–child contact.||The ability of fathers to stay in touch with their young children during incarceration depended on children’s caregivers and fathers’ extended family. When fathers planned to live with their children during reentry, positive relationships with caregivers and family members were important. When fathers did not plan to live with their children during reentry, support from extended family helped them bypass caregivers’ gatekeeping roles.|
|When talking about visits during incarceration, many fathers referenced the child’s mother acting as a gatekeeper between the father and child. This gatekeeping may be circumvented by other supports in the father’s family system (e.g., children’s grandmothers).||“I don’t know, it seemed like he wanted me and missed me. It’s always seemed like his mom didn’t want me to see him”.||When fathers did not plan to live with their children, father–caregiver relationship quality was unrelated to frequency of father–child contact, but family support predicted contact frequency.|
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Thomas, A.; Wirth, J.C.; Poehlmann-Tynan, J.; Pate, D.J., Jr. “When She Says Daddy”: Black Fathers’ Recidivism following Reentry from Jail. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 3518. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19063518
Thomas A, Wirth JC, Poehlmann-Tynan J, Pate DJ Jr. “When She Says Daddy”: Black Fathers’ Recidivism following Reentry from Jail. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(6):3518. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19063518Chicago/Turabian Style
Thomas, Alvin, Jennifer Clare Wirth, Julie Poehlmann-Tynan, and David J. Pate, Jr. 2022. "“When She Says Daddy”: Black Fathers’ Recidivism following Reentry from Jail" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 6: 3518. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19063518