When Will the Punishment End?

Formerly Incarcerated Women Speak Out

Journal of Progressive Human Services


Marta López-Garza

This article concerns women who have returned from prison, attempting to rebuild their lives. A number of the women in this writing have become activists on their own behalf and on behalf of other formerly incarcerated individuals as well as those still in prison. They are working across the country to change minds and change regressive policies.


I enjoyed writing this piece because, as noted in the title of the journal, its readership is primarily progressive service providers. Therefore the editors of the journal were interested in the women's stories, hearing from the women themselves, and less with the academic literature. I loved this opportunity to include many passages by the women, to share their voices.

Exploring the Intersections between Scholarship and Activism

"White" Washing American Education: New Cultural Wars in Ethnic Studies (eds.), Sandoval, Radcliff, Buenavista, Marin


Velázquez-Vargas, López-Garza, Pardo

This chapter in the New Cultural Wars anthology is a collaborative work with two colleagues.  The point of this piece is that while our research areas differ from one another, our methodological approaches are similar in that we ground ourselves in a community-based field research approach. Our burning question is if indeed Ethnic Studies is about a "different way of thinking" from the dominant academic precepts, how does this inform the manner in which we collect data and interpret what we document?

Formerly incarcerated women: Returning home to family and community

Research Justice: Methodologies for Social Change, (ed.), Andrew Jolivétte


Marta López-Garza

This chapter partners with my documentary, "When Will the Punishment End?" I present my research on formerly incarcerated women, following their journey from the moment of their release, on to their reunion with family and children, as well as their search for employment and housing. In this piece, I present the multiple systemic barriers to the women's reentry back into society.