“I want a second chance”: Experiences of African American fathers in reentry

Leconté J. Dill, Carlos Mahaffey, Tracey Mosley, Henrie Treadwell, Fabeain Barkwell, Sandra Barnhill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With over 700,000 people on average released from prison each year to communities, greater attention is warranted on the experiences and needs of those who are parents and seeking to develop healthy relationships with their children and families. This study seeks to explore the experiences of African American fathers in reentry. Qualitative data from 16 African American men enrolled in a fellowship program for fathers were collected from a focus group and analyzed for common themes and using standpoint theory. Four themes emerged that focused on fathers’ commitment toward healthy and successful reintegration postincarceration: redemption, employment, health care, and social support. Focus group participants actively strive to develop and rebuild healthy relationships with their children through seeking gainful employment and through bonding with like-minded peers. Barriers in accessing health care are also discussed. Research findings may inform future programs and policies related to supporting fathers and their children in reentry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-465
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Men's Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2016


  • African American men
  • Fathering
  • Incarceration
  • Reentry
  • Social determinants of health
  • Stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of '“I want a second chance”: Experiences of African American fathers in reentry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this