Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Davis, Tom Ph.D.


The purpose of this study was to examine community attitudes towards ex-offenders released in San Bernardino under AB 109 on subjects that would likely impact the ex-offender reintegration process. Past research has shown that a community’s willingness to employ and offer social support to ex-offenders has a substantial impact on their probability of re-offense. This study focused on individuals whose roles in the community give them greater influence over ex-offenders. A total of 11 community members participated in this qualitative study. Of the 11 respondents, 4 were employers, 4 were social service workers, and 3 were community center workers. Respondents participated in verbal interviews that explored their prior knowledge of AB 109, past interactions with ex-offenders, and their views related to ex-offenders on community safety, reform, employment, social support, and the severity of an offender’s crime. Unanimous agreement that ex-offenders should be able to compete for employment provided they have job skills, but varying levels of willingness to hire or work alongside ex-offenders was the study’s most substantial finding. All respondents also reported having at least 1 prior relationship with an ex-offender. Community members also expressed varying opinions on the impact ex-offenders have on safety, but unanimously agreed that they need social support after release. These findings indicate that San Bernardino community members have high levels of familiarity with ex-offenders and believe they iv should have a chance to become productive members of society, but that many community members want to avoid personally interacting with ex-offenders due to safety concerns.

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