Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies


College of Education

First Advisor

Ryan Carlson


Currently, African-Americans account for 12.3% of the U.S. population but represent 38% of the prison population (The Sentencing Project, 2016). Of the many African-American males sent to prison each year, there is limited research that explores the impact a conviction has on African-American fathers. Within the literature, researchers (Laakso & Nygaard, 2012; Miller, et. al., 2013, Flouri & Buchanan, 2002; Lee, Sansone, Swanson, & Tatum, 2012; Johnson & Easterling, 2015; Miller, 2006; Lopez & Bhat, 2007; Aaron & Dallaire, 2009) only focus on the effect incarceration has on children and the experiences of fathers while incarcerated (Roy & Dyson, 2005; Turner & Peck, 2002; Landreth & Lobaugh, 1998; Tripp, 2001; Arditti, Smock, & Parkman, 2005; Lange, 2001). The goal of this study are to (a) explore the experiences of convicted African-American fathers since their reentry into society, (b) in sharing their experiences, examined how convicted African-Americans fathers described the relationship with their children, and (c) compared the overall experiences of the convicted African-American fathers for similarities or differences since their reentry into society. The study took place while the fathers were clients at the Midlands Fatherhood Coalition located in Columbia, South Carolina. Using Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory (1977) as the framework, the study explored the barriers convicted African-American fathers face within the different systems they live in every day. Results showed the fathers experienced difficulty finding sustainable employment and reestablishing a parental role with their children due to their conviction and incarceration


© 2018, Douglas Bates