“It’s Really Hard Making Up for All of that Lost Time”

Providing Reentry Support After Wrongful Incarceration


  • Michelle Estes Department of Sociology & Political Science, Tennessee Tech University




Wrongful Convictions, Community Reentry After Wrongful Incarceration, Employment, Qualitative Research


The scientific study of wrongful convictions has been ongoing for the past few decades. These studies have worked to quantify wrongful convictions, identify contributing factors, and understand the negative implications to society and the individuals who experiences a wrongful incarceration. The majority of existing studies focus on what leads to a wrongful conviction, with fewer studies examining the community reentry processes of wrongfully convicted individuals. Those studies that do specifically focus on after-release experiences among wrongfully convicted individuals generally focus on the wide range of experiences that wrongfully convicted individuals have in terms of community reentry. The current study aims to contribute to these existing conversations on post-release experiences of wrongfully convicted individuals by focusing on a very specific aspect of community reentry, employment. Utilizing qualitative interviews with innocence organizational employees, individuals who work closely with wrongfully convicted individuals before their release and often maintain relationships after their release as well, this study examines how wrongful convictions impact employment. Findings show that obtaining innocence in often a long and complex process, resulting in numerous barriers that individuals must navigate in the job market. Organizational employees discuss the many barriers that their clients often encounter and the ways in which they, their organization, and wider society can assist wrongfully convicted individuals in the community reentry efforts more broadly. Policy implications are also discussed to aid wrongfully convicted individuals after their release.




How to Cite

Estes, M. (2022). “It’s Really Hard Making Up for All of that Lost Time” : Providing Reentry Support After Wrongful Incarceration. The Wrongful Conviction Law Review, 3(1), 60–81. https://doi.org/10.29173/wclawr60