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Based on ten in-depth interviews with Black men who converted to Islam while incarcerated, this project serves to better understand why Black men in prison convert to Islam, the effects conversion has on their prison time and on their reentry processes. In this paper, I argue that conversion to Islam among Black men in prison allows them to construct a new conception of self, which further allows them manage their prison time. I also argue that the presence of conversion to Islam in prisons helps to influence inmate culture and leads to the formation of a new masculinity within the prison that challenges the dominant form. Lastly, I consider Islam and the personal narratives it provides the men with as a way in which they are able to construct post-prison citizenships, while engaging in processes of reentry. Islam serves as a resource, which helps the men re-develop a bond with society and gain a level of control over their conditions.
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Kane, Antoinette Marie, "Islamic Conversion Confined: A Look at Why Black Men Convert to Islam While Incarcerated and the Effects Conversion has on their Processes of Reentry" (2016). Senior Projects Spring 2016. 143.