What is it like for inmates when they get out of prison and return home? Dr. Lee Streetman interviewed inmates shortly before they were released from prison. He spoke with many of them again a few months later to find out how they were adjusting to life on the outside. Specifically, he asked about their experiences with finding a place to live, getting a job, and reestablishing their families.
Dr. Streetman discovered that before their release, most inmates were highly motivated to accomplish goals and that they intended to lead productive and healthy lives. Yet following their release, both male and female offenders engaged in risky sexual encounters that posed a threat to themselves and others. He systematically collected information to assess a decision-making model to understand why people engage in risky behavior despite knowing about the negative consequences. He also asked offenders about the kinds of assistance that would be most beneficial to individuals who are making the transition from prison.
Dr. Streetman also examined the disturbing relationship between rates of incarceration and HIV/AIDS in the United States and in nations around the world.
Lee Streetman has a doctorate in sociology from the University of Delaware. A Vietnam-era marine, he has tutored at juvenile and adult correctional facilities. His interests include astronomy, the civil war, and his Cherokee heritage. He currently teaches sociology and criminal justice at Delaware State University.