2006 PhD - Clinical Psychology - Fordham University
Saint Anselm College
Mentor: Dr. Suzanne McMurphy, Assistant Professor of Social Work
Assessing the Needs of New Hampshire's Paroled Mothers: The Child Reunification Process Examined
Research indicates that the number of women incarcerated has increased between 150% to 250% within the past twenty years (Fletcher, Shaver, & Moon, 1992). Of these women, between 70% to 95% of them are mothers (Henriques, 1982; McGowan & Blumenthal, 1978). Literature indicates that 73.4% of these women will reunite with their children sometime after release from incarceration (Fessler, 1991). Few studies have been conducted that investigate the factors that contribute to successful mother-child reunification.
The focus of this research was to examine the mother-child reunification process of ten mothers, paroled from the New Hampshire State Prison for Women. The women's need for additional services as well as their awareness of and access to existing services is also examined. Participants in the study completed a thirty-minute interview that asked questions regarding their child custody status and their use of services designed to help reunite mothers and children. This information was compared to state and national data in an effort to better understand the experiences of paroled mothers. Recommendations were made for future research as well as for programming and policy changes.