Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2017

Degree Type

Honors Thesis


Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Dr. Thomas Mowen


Thousands of people face release from incarceration in America each day, which is a process termed reentry. The reentry process is accompanied by a multitude of complex challenges, which are compounded by the presence of a mental disorder. Research has explored the relationship between mental health and incarceration, as well as mental health and reentry. However, little has been done to determine how incarceration effects depressive disorders or how changes in mental health alter coping mechanisms for reentry-induced stress. Using strain theory as the central theoretical perspective, this research seeks to determine how incarceration effects those with depression and how those effects alter their coping mechanisms during reentry. Using a large data set comprised of males experiencing reentry, I found that incarceration is affecting changes in depression which is correlated with substance use post release.