Tuesday, May 06, 2008

WSSW Student in the NYT

Wurzweiler School of Social Work PhD candidate Alison Link talks about her work in the New York Times
Q. Why should we care about our relationship to leisure?

A. Too often, leisure time that is not used in a satisfying way turns into idle time, or is used to do a single thing to excess (like overeating, or getting into family quarrels). It can even turn negative, which is what happens often in the cases substance use, delinquency and criminal activity. Also, wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t define ourselves by our work? It should be just as valid to define ourselves by our leisure.

Q. A lot of your academic and field work focuses on at-risk, incarcerated and post-incarcerated populations. Why is leisure so significant for these populations?

A. Many people in at-risk populations have a lot of stress, pressures, risk-taking behavior, boredom and/or idle time. They may have, or perceive that they have, limited options or resources.

There is an opportunity to use leisure in a negative way while living on the street but also while in prison. Approximately 95 percent of people who are incarcerated in the United States are released and return to society at some point. This transition from incarceration to a life free from both crime and incarceration is a challenge for the more than 10 million people in the United States returning to society each year. Out of the more than 650,000 people returning from prison annually into the community, two-thirds are rearrested and half are reincarcerated. This affects not only these individuals’ lives but also those of their families, children, communities and society.
Read the rest. . . .More here. . . 

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