By Adeney Zo
UCLA Luskin student writer
Professor Laura Abrams, chair of the social welfare doctoral program, and PhD alumna Diane Terry recently published an article in the Children and Youth Services Review titled, “You can run but you can’t hide”: How formerly incarcerated young men navigate neighborhood risks.”
This qualitative study offers a window into the lives of formerly incarcerated youth, focusing on the struggles they encounter while transitioning out of the incarceration system and into adulthood.
In light of the viral nationwide reaction to the shooting of Michael Brown and subsequent events, this article addresses very relevant issues of racial disparity in the criminal justice system and police violence by turning to a more personal, narrative focus.
Seventeen formerly incarcerated young men were interviewed about their methods for navigating everyday risks, a complex survival strategy which balances obligation to gang brothers, avoiding of re-incarceration, and steering away from dangerous areas and situations. Through analyzing how formerly incarcerated youth develop strategies for safety and survival into adulthood, this study may provide a stepping stone to solving the issues of poverty, racial tensions, and police brutality which are currently the center of debate and discussion in America.