Love behind bars
- October 19, 2023
- Work by UCI sociologists Kristin Turney, Katelyn Rose Malae, and MacKenzie A. Christensen and University of Wisconsin's Sarah Halpern-Meekin, featured in The Society Pages, Oct. 19, 2023
Almost one in five adult women in the United States is a romantic partner or co-parent with a currently or formerly incarcerated person. In other words, roughly 33 million women in America have had to manage a relationship behind bars. Unlike previous studies of long-term prison incarceration, new research by Kristin Turney [UCI dean's professor of sociology], Katelyn Rose Malae [UCI sociology graduate student], MacKenzie A. Christensen [UCI sociology graduate student], and Sarah Halpern-Meekin [University of Wisconsin associate professor of human development and family studies] asks how shorter-term jail incarceration affects romantic relationships and family structures for women in relationships with incarcerated men. This research addresses a lack of focus on jail incarcerations. Jail sentences often come more suddenly and are less predictable than prison sentences, leaving families less time to plan for the future.