Presenter: Amy Sheppard. Amy is a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Sociology at Memorial University of Newfound and Labrador. She is a practising Social Worker at a non-profit working with women in the criminal justice system. Her research and clinical interests focus on gender, criminalized women, trauma-informed practises as well as critical obesity/fat studies. Amy is an avid (amateur) dancer who dabbles in backyard homesteading.
Presentation Description: Numbers of women prisoners are growing in Canada which means that there are also increasing numbers of women coming out of prisons. Histories of trauma, substance use and mental health concerns can impact female prisoner’s abilities to lead crime-free lifestyles once released from prison. My research explores the experiences of women released from a provincial prison and their goals for re-entry. This presentation focuses on the intersection of mental health disability and a criminal record and the impacts on employment as a part of re-entry. Initial findings show that stigma and gender roles impact women’s access to employment as well as services related to mental health and employment.