Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in English

Degree Level





Sparks, Leigh Pryor

Committee Member/Reader

Reeber, Joy

Committee Member/Second Reader

Parry, Janine

Committee Member/Third Reader

Smith, Joshua


According to a report from The Sentencing Project, "the female incarcerated population stands nearly five times higher than in 1980" and this trend has continued, which means that "at the national level, 47 out of every 100,000 women were in prison in 2020" (“Incarcerated Women and Girls.”). This means that women are leaving prison and beginning their reentry process into society every day, which is much easier said than done. With this reentry process, there are various barriers that each woman must overcome to reestablish their lives. When women are released from incarceration, the first thing they must do is find some sort of housing. Since there are not many options for safe and affordable housing in the Arkansas community and due to their lack of income, these women often find themselves in an unsafe living environment or back in a place surrounded by the things that caused their arrest in the first place. On top of just finding housing, these women must find employment and reintegrate themselves back into the world outside of prison, which is extremely difficult. Transitional housing programs are a great resource for women going through this process and allow them to immediately have both safe and affordable housing as well as assistance navigating the road to building their lives again. While the amount of incarcerated women is significantly less than the total of incarcerated men overall, women have less access to resources for reintegration.

In this thesis, residents at a Northwest Arkansas transitional living program, Magdalene Serenity House, are interviewed about their experiences with finding housing and employment post incarceration. Staff of Magdalene Serenity House also provides interview feedback on their experience working with reentering women. The impact of Magdalene Serenity House programming in the lives of transitional women is evaluated.


rehabilitation services, reentry, criminal justice system, support systems, transitional living programs