Debt Peonage: How Formerly Incarcerated Fathers Experience Child Support and Criminal Justice Debt

Awarded Scholars:
Francis Prior, Assumption University
Steven Farough, Assumption University
Project Date:
Mar 2022
Award Amount:
$30,000

Sociologists Francis Prior and Steven Farough will examine how debt among formerly incarcerated fathers affects both their broader economic lives and their attempts to socially reintegrate. The researchers will conduct interviews with 60 formerly incarcerated fathers about their economic lives with respect to work expenses and debt, as well as their social lives with respect to their roles as fathers. The researchers will conduct participant observation by accompanying interviewees to legal bureaucracies to find out about their debts. After the interview, a criminal background check will be conducted on each interviewee to provide context on interviewee system involvement. This study will build upon previous work by highlighting intersection of child support, debt, and reentry in the context of lived experience and fatherhood roles among the urban poor.

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