African American women on the possibilities of a relationship with an ex-offender

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This article presents the perceptions of 487 African American university women on their willingness to stay committed to an incarcerated person and their willingness to enter a committed romantic relationship with an ex-offender. The women were given a survey with closed and open-ended questions. Descriptive statistics, chi-square, binary logistic regression, and qualitative text analyses were performed. The results indicate that while the women were inclined to remain faithful to incarcerated husbands, they were largely not inclined to be faithful to boyfriends. A majority would consider giving an ex-offender a chance at a committed romantic relationship depending on the ex-offender's past offense, and/or, if there were clear signs that the ex-offender had indeed changed for the better. The article offers a rare insight into the mind-set of African American women on many of the men in their communities. This is significant given the apparent importance of a committed intimate relationship in the successful reintegration of ex-offenders.

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