• Beyond Drugs and Crime: Services Needed for Formerly Incarcerated Men in Cape Breton

      Morrison, Kirk; Department of Sociology
      This research is an institutional ethnographic exploration of the reentry of formerly incarcerated men who use illicit drugs in the Regional Municipality of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Formerly incarcerated drug users in Cape Breton have few resources available to them as they attempt to adjust to life outside prison. Facing many obstacles, they often find themselves vulnerable to denial of services, homelessness or substandard housing, social isolation and stigmatization, and, ultimately, reincarceration. Beginning with experiences as reported in interviews of previously incarcerated male drug users, as well as staff members of a local harm reduction organization, I identify the range of challenges men experience post-incarceration and how best to meet their needs. Drawing on the men’s vision for effective service provision and safer drug use policies, I make policy recommendations that will facilitate inclusion and effective reentry into society. My guiding questions are: What challenges and obstacles do men face after release? How effectively do men access welfare state services, employment, and housing and what are the specific barriers to access? What broad changes are required to avoid reincarceration and truly support the needs of illicit drug using men?