Social Re-Integration of Ex-Prisoners in Uganda-The Missing Link
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The purpose of this study is to understand the social reintegration experiences of ex-prisoners with the society after prison. For this purpose, it aims to reveal how ex-prisoners who turned to crime after prison lost their link with the society and how ex-prisoners who did not commit crime after prison re-establish their link with the society. Qualitative research methods were used in the research, as the study aims to focus on the experiences of former prisoners and their perceptions of the social reintegration process. Within the scope of the research, in-depth interviews were conducted with 16 prisoners who were in prison for the second or more times at the time of the interview in 4 different prisons in Uganda and 15 ex-prisoners who had not been involved in crime again for at least 3 years after their release from prison. A semi-structured interview form was used in the interviews and the data were coded and analyzed with the help of the MAXQDA program prepared for qualitative data analysis. As a result of the research, it is understood that positive family and social relations, better education level, participation in employment, vocational training courses in prisons, participating in voluntary activities in NGOs and religious institutions empower ex-prisoners and facilitate the process of social reintegration with society. On the other hand, the research revealed that the factors which complicate the social reintegration of ex-prisoners in Uganda are somehow related with the deep poverty in the country, the prevalence of bribery and corruption in the public and private sectors, inter-tribal discrimination, development gap between rural and urban areas and existing cultural gender roles for women and girls. The findings obtained as a result of the research were discussed with the empowerment approach and the concepts of human rights, social justice and social inequality, and suggestions developed at micro, mezzo and macro levels.