The stigma of being an ex-prisoner can lead to self-stigmatizing beliefs and hinder reintegration. For young ex-prisoners, this is particularly challenging as they need not only to transition from prison to society but from adolescence to adulthood. This study explores the experiences of discrimination and self-stigma of 16 young men recently released from Hong Kong prisons. Drawing on qualitative in-depth interviews, it reveals that participants perceived themselves as facing discrimination, mainly from prospective employers. Self-stigma was more salient with regard to lower self-worth and shame and embarrassment. Most adopted a "don't ask, don't tell" strategy in disclosing their identity as ex-prisoners. As very little research has been conducted on the experiences of returning offenders in Hong Kong, this study highlights the challenges of reentry.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science