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Dr. Chrysanthi Leon Asks Re-entry Workers: “Why Would You Do This?”

People who are convicted of sexual offenses typically experience great difficulties in finding employment or a place to live after incarceration, even while participating in legally mandated re-entry programs and therapy. The professionals who provide these services or work in these re-entry programs may experience secondary stigma as a result of being associated with people whom society has rejected. A researcher at the University of Delaware, Dr. Chrysanthi Leon, wondered: Why have the people who provide these services chosen to do this difficult work, which has been associated with high levels of stress, stigma, and burnout?

At the NARSOL 2022 National Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, Dr. Leon will share what she has learned from conducting over 40 interviews with re-entry workers about what motivates and sustains them as they do re-entry work with registrants. She will also share the findings from a previous study involving the family members of registrants that many NARSOL members may have participated in.

It is commonly believed that many re-entry professionals consider their work with registrants to be a calling in a religious or ethical sense. But does the data support that presumption? Dr. Leon will explore the various ways re-entry workers explain their calling to others and the role that their religious or socio-political worldview plays in their work. Dr. Leon’s Friday morning presentation is entitled, “Why Would You Do This?”

Chrysanthi S. Leon, JD, PhD, is Deputy Dean of the Honors College; Associate Professor of Sociology & Criminal Justice, Women & Gender Studies, and Legal Studies; and founding member of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Gender-based Violence at the University of Delaware. She received her graduate degrees from UC Berkeley. Leon is an interdisciplinary scholar in penology and law and society, whose research and teaching address sex crime and punishment, sex work, and the prison system; she teaches in a local women’s prison. Her book, Sex Fiends, Perverts and Pedophiles: Understanding Sex Crime Policy in America, is available from NYU Press. Leon is co-editor, with Katie Hail-Jares and Corey Shdaimah, of Challenging Perspectives on Street-Based Sex Work (Temple University Press). Dr. Leon has joined Briefs of Amici Curiae in several significant court cases involving the registry, including Gundy v. United States and Millard et al., v. Rankin.

Sign up today to attend the NARSOL 2022 National Conference in Raleigh, NC, June 16-19, 2022, or visit the conference website to learn more about this great event and the other informative and motivational speakers who will be presenting.