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RACIAL INEQUALITIES IN CONNECTEDNESS TO IMPRISONED INDIVIDUALS IN THE UNITED STATES<sup>1</sup

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Abstract

In just the last forty years, imprisonment has been transformed from an event experienced by only the most marginalized to a common stage in the life course of American men—especially Black men with low levels of educational attainment. Although much research considers the causes of the prison boom and how the massive uptick in imprisonment has shaped crime rates and the life course of the men who experience imprisonment, in recent years, researchers have gained a keen interest in the spillover effects of mass imprisonment on families, children, and neighborhoods. Unfortunately, although this new wave of research documents the generally harmful effects of having a family member or loved one incarcerated, it remains unclear how much the prison boom shapes social inequality through these spillover effects because we lack precise estimates of the racial inequality in connectedness—through friends, family, and neighbors—to prisoners. Using the 2006 General Social Survey, we fill this pressing research gap by providing national estimates of connectedness to prisoners—defined in this article as knowing someone who is currently imprisoned, having a family member who is currently imprisoned, having someone you trust who is currently imprisoned, or having someone you know from your neighborhood who is currently imprisoned—for Black and White men and women. Most provocatively, we show that 44% of Black women (and 32% of Black men) but only 12% of White women (and 6% of White men) have a family member imprisoned. This means that about one in four women in the United States currently has a family member in prison. Given these high rates of connectedness to prisoners and the vast racial inequality in them, it is likely that mass imprisonment has fundamentally reshaped inequality not only for the adult men for whom imprisonment has become common, but also for their friends and families.

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... For instance, exposures to "mass incarceration, " which refers to the extreme historical and contemporary levels of incarceration, occurrences that are so concentrated in communities of color that it becomes a common stage of in life-course (35). Approximately 50% of Black women have an imprisoned relative, compared to only 12% of their white counterparts (36). Further, Black people are more likely than the overall population to know an incarcerated individual, and to have a neighbor or an intimate partner incarcerated (36). ...
... Approximately 50% of Black women have an imprisoned relative, compared to only 12% of their white counterparts (36). Further, Black people are more likely than the overall population to know an incarcerated individual, and to have a neighbor or an intimate partner incarcerated (36). Women make up 83% of those responsible for the costs associated with family member's court costs, which results in a financial burden that compounds any existing struggles to meet basic material needs (37). ...
... Despite specific calls for research on the life-course influences of mass incarceration on the health of Black people and communities (40), few studies have quantified the direct or contextual effect of mass incarceration on poor health and mortality within this group (41), and none have examined its effect on Black maternal health. This distinct overexposure to incarceration that Black communities experience may be an important contributor to maternal health inequities and research and action to address this crisis is needed (36,41). ...
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For decades, Black mothers have been most likely to suffer the worst outcomes of pregnancy, including death. Even though traditional individual level risk factors do not explain racial inequities in maternal morbidity, most studies identify Black race as a predictor, instead of the ways in which our society is structured around racism that makes Black mothers vulnerable to adverse health outcomes. As an example, the U.S is exceptional in incarcerating its residents, and Black men are six times and Black women are three times more likely than their white counterparts to be incarcerated. Relatedly, violent death caused by homicides disproportionately impacts Black communities, such that is the leading cause of death for males and females aged 10–34 years. Estimates suggest that more than 50% of urban residents know more than 10 murder victims, and approximately 200 people are affected by each neighborhood murder. Recent research has begun to shed light on the impacts of stressful neighborhood social conditions on risk of the adverse birth outcomes among Black mothers however, few studies have quantified the impact of macro-social neighborhood factors like violent death exposures and mass incarceration on Black maternal health. Future research that leverages relevant theoretical frameworks, is co-created and co-led with affected communities, and focuses on relevant neighborhood level traumas is warranted if we are to address the longstanding racial inequities in maternal health.
... The first uses formal demographic methods to document variations, by cohort, race, and education, in the cumulative risk of own and paternal imprisonment (Bonczar 2003;Bonczar and Beck 1997;Pettit and Western 2004;Western and Wildeman 2009;Wildeman 2009). The second explores the "connectedness" of prisoners to friends, family, and local communities (Clear 2007;Lee et al. 2015;Rose and Clear 2004;Wildeman and Turney 2014). Taken together, these bodies of research offer substantial insight into how individuals and families have been touched-directly or indirectly-by the rise in imprisonment rates since the early 1970s. ...
... The connectedness literature offers several examples of research aiming beyond the nuclear family. Lee et al. (2015) use the 2006 General Social Survey to estimate the probability of having a currently imprisoned family member (of any relation). Wildeman and Wakefield (2014) use data from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods to analyze the concentration of imprisonment within family networks, demonstrating that children of incarcerated parents are more likely to have other relatives simultaneously incarcerated. ...
... Finally, to ensure that our simulations reliably reproduce observed population trends in each of our input domains, we employ a rigorous calibration procedure that multiplicatively scales each of the input rate parameters over each decade of simulation until the likelihood of reproducing known population-level measures in those variables (i.e., total fertility rate, life expectancy at birth, and rate of first admission to prison) is maximized in our data. 8 Then, as a final check of our fully calibrated simulation model's ability to return plausible results, we compare measures of own and family imprisonment reported by three previous studies (Lee et al. 2015;Western and Wildeman 2009;Wildeman 2009) with those generated by our models. In brief, we find close agreement (within 3 percentage points) between our estimates of own and parental imprisonment risk with those reported by Wildeman (2009) andWildeman (2009). ...
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This study employs microsimulation techniques to provide an accounting of exposure to imprisoned or formerly imprisoned kin. We characterize the risk and prevalence of imprisonment within full kinship networks and find that the life course trajectories of familial imprisonment experienced by black and white Americans take on qualitatively distinct forms: the average black American born at the height of the prison boom experienced the imprisonment of a relative for the first time at age 7 and by age 65 belongs to a family in which more than 1 in 7 working-age relatives have ever been imprisoned. By contrast, the average white American who experiences the imprisonment of a relative does not do so until age 39 and by age 65 belongs to a family in which 1 in 20 working-age relatives have ever been imprisoned. Future reductions in imprisonment rates have the potential to meaningfully reduce these racial disparities in family imprisonment burden.
... Fewer studies focus on the mental health consequences associated with the incarceration of immediate family members (Wildeman & Wang, 2017). Additionally, although approximately 50% of black women report having at least one family member that is incarcerated (Lee, McCormick, Hicken, & Wildeman, 2015), little research has examined the potential costs associated with the high prevalence of familial incarceration for black women. Finally, while sibling incarceration is the most commonly experienced form of familial incarceration (Enns et al., 2019), studies tend to focus either on children of incarcerated men or unmarried mothers who co-parent with incarcerated men (Bruns & Lee, 2020;Lee, Fang, & Luo, 2013;Murray, Loeber, & Pardini, 2012;Roettger & Boardman, 2012;Roettger & Swisher, 2011;Turney, 2014;Wakefield & Wildeman, 2011;Wildeman et al., 2012). ...
... This study is one of the first to measure the impact of mental health associated with imprisoned family members beyond mothers with incarcerated partners (see Wildeman & Wang, 2017). Additionally, familial incarceration's positive association with worse psychological adjustment in this sample suggests that studies focusing solely on the women's partners and children of incarcerated men exclude a large population of affected women (see Lee et al., 2015). ...
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Objective The current study uses insights from the stress process model and role theory to examine the relationship between familial incarceration, three key social roles—spouse, parent, and employee—and African American women's mental health. Background Research documents the spillover effects of mass incarceration on the families of those incarcerated. Approximately half of black women have at least one family member currently incarcerated; yet the potential psychological costs of familial incarceration among black women remains under‐investigated, particularly among those who are not parents. Method Utilizing the National Survey of American Life, a nationally representative sample of never‐incarcerated African American women (N = 1,961), this study used regression to examine the association of mental health (measured by psychological distress and depressive symptomatology), familial incarceration, and combinations of social roles. Results Familial incarceration was associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms and psychological distress. Women that were employed only typically had improved psychological adjustment compared to other role combinations; yet, employment did not mute the mental health costs of familial incarceration. Conclusion African American women disproportionately experience the incarceration of family members, and the findings demonstrate that this experience is detrimental to mental health. Though social roles variably provide social, psychological, and economic resources to cope with familial incarceration, results show that the mental health costs of incarceration are generally consistent across role combinations. The expansive criminal justice system holds large implications for the well‐being of populations at the intersection of race, gender, and social roles.
... 4 Estimates generated using data from the 2006 General Social Survey showed that 44% of African American women and 12% of white women had a family member-counting not only immediate family members but also aunts, uncles, and cousins-who was imprisoned. 5 All of these estimates, moreover, markedly understate the burden of family member incarceration (that is, prison and jail incarceration), because most current surveys include information only on prisoners. ...
... Research in this area has used either data that are not representative of the US population 56 or a broad definition of family (eg, cousins, aunts, and uncles). 5 Just knowing the population incidence and cumulative prevalence of these risk factors would therefore greatly benefit the field. Second, including these questions on major national health surveys that also include high- ...
... Although high for all groups, this risk is particularly acute for Black (63%) and Hispanic (48%) individuals and those with lower levels of education (Enns et al., 2019). Point-in-time estimates of connections to prison incarceration also suggest that exposure to household member imprisonment is high and unequally distributed (Lee et al., 2015). Nearly 44% of Black women have an imprisoned family member and Black women, compared to White women, have between five and nine times as many imprisoned people in their social network (Lee et al., 2015). ...
... Point-in-time estimates of connections to prison incarceration also suggest that exposure to household member imprisonment is high and unequally distributed (Lee et al., 2015). Nearly 44% of Black women have an imprisoned family member and Black women, compared to White women, have between five and nine times as many imprisoned people in their social network (Lee et al., 2015). Household member incarceration is a common and unequally distributed event which has lasting implications for health. ...
Article
Sexual health is a critical indicator of wellbeing with consequences for population health. However, little is known about whether and how household member incarceration affects the sexual health behaviors of young adults. This study seeks to assess the association between household member incarceration and sexual health behaviors and provides an initial test of mechanisms. Drawing upon data from the NLSY97, this study estimates the association between household member incarceration and sexual health behaviors using linear probability models, and then re-estimates these associations using two alternative comparison groups; 1) youth who experienced other forms of stress, and 2) youth who experienced other forms of family absence. Results indicate that household incarceration is positively associated with a higher risk of reporting sexual intercourse with an intravenous drug user net of individual and family characteristics and is negatively associated with condom use net of individual but not family characteristics. The results also show that the associations between household member incarceration and sexual health behaviors may be attributable, at least in part, to the well documented stress associated with incarceration. Yet, the results provide little evidence that absence is a pathway linking household member incarceration to risky sexual health behaviors. It is possible that household member incarceration is linked to deleterious outcomes for youth through different mechanisms than parental incarceration given the differing roles of parents versus other adults in the home. Future research should explore the pathways linking household member incarceration to health risks for youth and consider household member incarceration as a unique family stressor.
... The family members of African Americans are disproportionately affected by mass incarceration. Lee, McCormick, Hicken, and Wildeman (2015) indicate that 44% of African American women and 34% of African American men have a family member who has been incarcerated, compared with 12% and 6% of white women and men, respectively. One in nine black children has an incarcerated parent (Wakefield & Wildeman, 2013). ...
... Additionally, the impact of mass incarceration extends well beyond the suspected "legal offender" (Comfort, 2007). Incarceration of a loved one exerts negative impacts on the health and well-being of the children, romantic partners, parents, and community members of prisoners and former prisoners (Lee et al., 2015). For instance, one study found that African Americans who had a family member who was currently incarcerated reported more psychological distress (Mouzon, Taylor, Nguyen, & Chatters, 2016). ...
Article
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Psychiatric disorders impose significant personal, social, and financial costs for individuals, families, and the nation. Despite a large amount of research and several journals focused on psychiatric conditions, there is a paucity of research on psychiatric disorders among Black Americans (i.e., African Americans and Black Caribbeans), particularly older Black Americans. The present literature review examines research on psychiatric disorders among older Black Americans and provides a broad overview of research findings that are based on nationally representative studies. Collectively, this research finds: (1) older African Americans have lower rates of psychiatric disorders than younger African Americans; (2) family support is not protective of psychiatric disorders, whereas negative interaction with family members is a risk factor; (3) everyday discrimination is a risk factor for psychiatric disorders; (4) both older African Americans and African American across the adult age range have lower prevalence rates of psychiatric disorders than non-Latino whites; (5) Black Caribbean men have particularly high rates of depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and suicide attempts; and (6) a significant proportion of African American older adults with mental health disorders do not receive professional help. This literature review also discusses the “Race Paradox” in mental health, the Environmental Affordances Model, and the importance of investigating ethnicity differences among Black Americans. Future research directions address issues that are directly relevant to the Black American population and include the following: (1) understanding the impact of mass incarceration on the psychiatric disorders of prisoners’ family members, (2) assessing the impact of immigration from African countries for ethnic diversity within the Black American population, (3) examining the impact of racial identity and racial socialization as potential protective factors for psychiatric morbidities, and (4) assessing racial diversity in life-course events and their impact on mental health.
... The expansion of mass incarceration over the past 50 years coupled with overrepresentation of racial/ethnic minorities in both jails and prisons means that incarceration has become a common experience for Black men and other racially and socioeconomically disadvantaged men (Carson, 2015;Glaze & Kaeble, 2015;Harlow, 2003;Pettit & Western, 2004). Consequently, the removal of men from family systems has become a common event for disadvantaged women (Lee, McCormick, Hicken, & Wildeman, 2015). If, as research suggests, the conditions of low-wage jobs make balancing work and family difficult (Henly & Lambert, 2014;Williams, 2010), then the predominance of family member incarceration in the same women's lives may create additional complications. ...
... Indeed, multiple job holding may be a particularly important strategy given the constraints disadvantaged women often face in the labor market. Less-educated and racial/ethnic minority women-women for whom family member incarceration is most common (Lee et al., 2015)-often work in low-wage and service sector jobs (Malveaux, 1981;Presser, 2003;Reid, 2002;Reskin, 1999). The number of hours a woman can work at a low-wage job may be limited by her employer's efforts to keep cost low by maintaining a part-time staff (Kalleberg, 2000;Tilly, 1996), and the low pay may mean that working even 40 hours per week does not result in enough earnings to support a family (Ehrenreich, 2001). ...
Article
A large body of research documents the sensitivity of women's employment to changing family circumstances, but we know little about the relationship between partner incarceration—a common family transition in the lives of disadvantaged women—and employment. Despite reasons to suspect that changes in resources associated with incarceration have consequences for the employment of family members, previous research suggests that partner incarceration does not influence the number of hours women work at their main jobs. This paper uses data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N = 3835) to examine how partner incarceration is associated with multiple job holding, an alternative strategy for increasing earnings. Results show that women with incarcerated partners are more likely to work multiple jobs than women in otherwise similar circumstances, suggesting partner incarceration is linked to a “third shift”—to additional employment on top of the paid work and caregiving women already do.
... These disparities extend into the non-incarcerated community. Forty-four percent of Black women report having a family member imprisoned compared to only 12% of White women (4). In a 2009 study, African American children born in 1990 had a 25% increased likelihood of having their father go to prison compared to non-Hispanic White children, and that figure rose to a 50% increase if their fathers had not finished high school (5). ...
... In a 2009 study, African American children born in 1990 had a 25% increased likelihood of having their father go to prison compared to non-Hispanic White children, and that figure rose to a 50% increase if their fathers had not finished high school (5). Although the disparities are not as striking as with African Americans, other persons of color are also overrepresented in U.S. jail and prison populations with the consequent impact on their families and communities (1,2,(4)(5)(6). ...
Article
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The United States has experienced a 4-fold increase in jail and prison populations over the last 40 years, disproportionately burdening African American and Hispanic/Latinx communities. Mass incarceration threatens the health of individuals, families, and communities, and requires a public health response. The Master of Public Health (MPH) Program at Touro University California (TUC) trains students to become skillful, socially-conscious public health professionals. We are developing a concentration focused on the public health impacts of incarceration. Along with the core public health curriculum, students of this new "Health Equity and Criminal Justice (HECJ)" concentration will receive training in criminal justice, reentry, reintegration, recidivism, restorative justice, structural racism, and social and community impacts of incarceration. Our study gauges interest in an HECJ concentration in our local community, including potential employers. We surveyed a cross-section of community partners including public health departments, other governmental agencies, California correctional facilities, county jails, community groups, health clinics, and hospitals. A majority (89%) of respondents consider mass incarceration a public health problem and 86% believe specialized training would make graduates employable by criminal justice related organizations. The HECJ track will fill a gap in the field and train a future generation of public health professionals to address the epidemic of mass incarceration.
... In the 31 years from 1978 to 2009, the number of prisoners held in federal and state prisons in the USA increased almost 430%, from 294,400 to 1,555,600 people [5]. Approximately 50% of African American women have an imprisoned relative, compared with 12% of their white counterparts [6]. Mass incarceration is a dominant social determinant of health in urban communities because it punishes accused offenders and appears to be a fundamental cause of persistent inequality [7]. ...
Article
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While evidence for neighborhood effects on adverse birth outcomes is growing, no studies have examined whether living in a neighborhood impacted by mass incarceration is associated with preterm birth risk. We used modified Poisson regression to test whether residence in a neighborhood impacted by mass incarceration predicted future risk of preterm birth, among African American women. We linked data from the Justice Atlas of Sentencing and Corrections to survey and medical record data from the Life-course Influences on Fetal Environments study (n = 681). We also tested for effect modification by age and marital status. The association between prison admission expenditures and future risk of PTB varied by maternal age at birth, with younger women (< 35) having a modest increase in risk (relative risk (RR) 1.07; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.99, 1.15), and older (35+ year old) women having lower risk (RR 0.86; 95% CI 0.69, 1.07). The association between the number of prison admissions due to new court cases and future risk of PTB varied by marital status, with evidence that married women may be protected (RR 0.75; 95% CI 0.61, 0.92), while little evidence of association was observed among unmarried women (RR 1.02; 95% CI 0.80, 1.30). The association between residence in an area impacted by mass incarceration and future risk of PTB among African American women may vary by age and marital status. Future research to identify the mechanisms of these associations is warranted.
... In addition, nearly half of black women currently have a family member or extended family member who is in prison. For white women, the risk of having an incarcerated family member is only one quarter as high, at 12%, as opposed to nearly 50% (46,47). Considering the indirect health consequences of incarceration, having an incarcerated family member also harms the mental and physical health of nonincarcerated female partners and children. ...
Article
This article investigates the gap in access to and quality of mental health care in the United States. This work first discusses how minority populations are most affected by the treatment gap. It summarizes recent literature on the topic for better understanding the needs of psychiatrically underserved and disenfranchised populations and the causes of mental health disparities. It reviews some of the barriers to behavioral health care, including lack of insurance coverage, lack of community-based interventions, unequal access to evidence-based practices, stigma, mental health workforce shortages, and geographical maldistribution of providers. Second, it reviews opportunities to address these disparities. The article provides examples of effective interventions that researchers worldwide have already implemented to address the gap of mental health services within the collaborative care model and global mental health initiatives. Telepsychiatry and improvements in training of the mental health workforce are also listed as useful implementations to overcome the treatment gap for patients seeking mental health care.
... Homens correspondem a 90% dos presos. A situação chega a tal ponto que uma entre quatro mulheres americanas possui um ente querido preso -para mulheres negras, o número é significativamente maior, no patamar de 44%, enquanto apenas 12% das mulheres brancas e 6% dos homens brancos se encontram na mesma situação (Lee et al., 2015). Homens jovens negros com idades entre 18 e 34 anos têm seis vezes mais chances de ser presos do que seus pares brancos (Tsai;Scommegna, 2012). ...
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p>Este artigo investiga o papel da raça e do racismo nos Estados Unidos da América. Ele trata de raça como conceito, explorando, primordialmente, o motivo da existência de categorias raciais e da desigualdade racial. Também, nele, examinamos a atual situação da raça nos Estados Unidos ao expor suas manifestações sociais, econômicas e políticas. Após explorar a magnitude da desigualdade racial nos Estados Unidos, trabalhamos para desvendar os mecanismos que perpetuam e sustentam, tanto estrutural quanto culturalmente, as disparidades raciais. Em razão de ações e crenças racistas terem sempre sofrido resistências por parte dos movimentos sociais, atos coletivos, e resistência individual, nós analisamos a natureza e os resultados dos esforços da luta contra o racismo norte-americano. Concluímos com uma análise das perspectivas atuais relativas à transformação racial e das possibilidades para a emergência da igualdade racial. Assim, neste artigo, trazemos uma análise abrangente da situação atual das dinâmicas raciais nos Estados Unidos e das forças determinadas a combater o racismo. THE RACIAL STATE OF THE UNION: understanding race andr acial inequality in the United States of America This paper interrogates the role of race and racism in the United States of America. The paper grapples with race conceptually as it explores why racial categories and racial inequality exist in the first place. We also examine the current state of race in North America by laying bare it social, economic and political manifestations. After exploring the magnitude of racial inequality in the United States, we labor to unravel the mechanisms both structurally and culturally that perpetuates and sustains racial disparities. Because racist actions and beliefs have always been resisted by social movements, collection action, and resistance at the personal level, we assess the nature and outcomes of struggles to overthrow North American racism. We conclude by assessing the current prospects for racial transformation and the possibilities for the emergence of racial equality. Thus, in this paper, we provide an overarching analysis of the current state of racial dynamics in the United States and the forces determined to dismantle racism. Key words: Race. Racism. Racial regimes. Black movements. Inequality. ÉTAT RACIAL DE L’UNION: comprendre la race et les inégalités raciales aux États-Unis d’Amérique Notre article évaluera le rôle de la race et du racisme en Amérique. Le document aborde conceptuellement la race en explorant pourquoi les catégories raciales et l’inégalité raciale existent en premier lieu. Le document passe à l’examen de l’état actuel de la race en Amérique en mettant à nu les manifestations sociales, économiques et politiques. Étant donné l’ampleur de l’inégalité raciale aux États-Unis, le document cherche à démêler les mécanismes à la fois structurels et culturels qui perpétuent et maintiennent les disparités raciales. Parce que le mouvement raciste a toujours été combattu en Amérique par des mouvements sociaux, des actions de collecte et de résistance au niveau personnel, le journal évaluera la nature et les résultats des luttes pour renverser le racisme américain. Ainsi, l’article fournira une analyse de l’état actuel de la dynamique raciale aux États-Unis ainsi que des forces déterminées à démanteler le racisme. Mots-clés: Race. Racisme. Régimen racial. Movement nègre. Inegalité. </p
... Previous research has generated point-in-time estimates of the share of the population that currently has any family member imprisoned (e.g., Lee et al. 2015) and estimates of the cumulative prevalence of having a parent imprisoned at the national (e.g., Wildeman 2009) and state and regional levels (e.g., Muller and Wildeman 2016). But two gaps in this area of research remain. ...
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What percentage of Americans have ever had a family member incarcerated? To answer this question, we designed the Family History of Incarceration Survey (FamHIS). The survey was administered in the summer of 2018 by NORC at the University of Chicago using their AmeriSpeak Panel. It was funded by FWD.us, which released a separate report using the data. The data show that 45 percent of Americans have ever had an immediate family member incarcerated. The incarceration of an immediate family member was most prevalent for blacks (63 percent) but common for whites (42 percent) and Hispanics (48 percent) as well. College graduates had a lower risk of having a family member incarcerated, but the risk for black college graduates was comparatively high. The most common form of family member incarceration was the incarceration of a sibling.
... 30 In 2006, 44% of African American women and 32% of African American men had a family member who was imprisoned, compared with only 12% of white women and 6% of white men. 32 One in 28 children in the United States and 1 in 9 African American children in the United States had an incarcerated parent in 2008, 33 which puts these children at an increased risk of homelessness, financial instability, problems at school, and behavioral and mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety. 34 Wildeman et al 35 The economic costs of incarceration and unsuccessful reentry (eg, unemployment, lack of stable housing, relapse of substance use, recidivism) are high, especially costs linked to health. ...
... Simply, because of all the things she knows has happened to people within her three degrees of freedom, because of her own past personal contact, because of her concerns for her son's future, her nervous system collapses (Horton 2018;Johnson 2004;Lee et al. 2014Lee et al. , 2015Lee and Wildeman 2013;Neyfakh 2015;Topel et al. 2018). She feels the full weight of the fret she has normalized because her routine navigation of that one block has encoded its imprint onto her biological cells. ...
Article
The Coronavirus Pandemic has altered the ways we use shared space fundamentally. Policymakers across the nation have enabled police to deploy the power of the state to limit unnecessary and dense usage of public spaces and private gatherings. Such social distancing policies are critical in flattening the pandemic curve of an effective and efficient airborne virus and lessening the public health burden of an already-strained health care system. Yet, the stickiness of systemic racism persists. Racial inequities underpin the facesgoverning the matrices of the pandemic, policing, and protests.
... Research indicates that their lives too are impacted when a loved one is incarcerated (Comfort, 2008;Cooper et al., 2015;Lee et al., 2014a,b;Wildeman et al., 2013). They may also be impacted when a loved one is under community supervision (Braman, 2007), or when individuals in their personal networks have a CJ history (Lee et al., 2015). ...
Article
We explore race differences in how individuals experience mass incarceration, as well as in mass incarceration's impacts on measures of well-being that are recognized as major social determinants of health. We draw on baseline data from a sample of 302 men and women recently released from prison/jail or placed directly onto probation in New Haven, Connecticut (CT) for drug related offenses and followed at 6-month intervals for two years (2011-2014). We describe race differences in experiences of mass incarceration and in its impacts on well-being; and we conduct mediation analyses to analyze relationships among race, mass incarceration, and well-being. Blacks reported fewer adult convictions than whites, but an average of 2.5 more adult incarcerations. Blacks were more likely to have been incarcerated as a juvenile, spent time in a juvenile facility and in an adult facility as a juvenile, been on parole, and experienced multiple forms of surveillance. Whites were more likely to report being caught by the police doing something illegal but let go. Blacks were more likely to report any impact of incarceration on education, and dropping out of school, leaving a job, leaving their longest job, and becoming estranged from a family member due to incarceration. Whites were more likely to avoid getting needed health or social services for fear of arrest. Overall, Blacks reported a larger number of impacts of criminal justice involvement on well-being than whites. Number of adult incarcerations and of surveillance types, and being incarcerated as a juvenile, each mediated the relationship among race, mass incarceration, and well-being. Though more research is necessary, experiences of mass incarceration appear to vary by race and these differences, in turn, have implications for interventions aimed at addressing the impacts of mass incarceration on health and well-being.
... This argument also applies to other family members (e.g.,Lee et al. 2015), although we do not dwell on this point because researchers have yet to estimate the cumulative prevalence of familial incarceration in the United States. ...
Article
Research on the consequences of incarceration for inmates and ex-inmates, their families, and their communities has proliferated in just the last 20 years. Yet little of this research has documented variation across facilities in conditions of confinement or how these variations in conditions of confinement shape the consequences of incarceration for inmates and ex-inmates, their families, and their communities. Also, the conditions of confinement that have to this point been considered represent a very incomplete portrait of the range of conditions of confinement inmates could face. In this review,we fill this gap in four ways. First, we provide a partial overview of possible variations in conditions of confinement. Second, we use data from multiple years of the Survey of Inmates in Local Jails and the Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities to provide an assessment of how much conditions of confinement vary across American jails, state prisons, and federal prisons, with an emphasis on variation within as well as between facility types. Third, we briefly review research on conditions of confinement in the United States and, as appropriate, other developed democracies. Finally, we conclude by providing a road map for future research to further enliven this research area. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Law and Social Science Volume 14 is October 13, 2018. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.
... Parental incarceration is associated with children's problem outcomes across a broad range of domains, including mental and physical health, behavioral problems, academic achievement, material hardship, and involvement with the criminal justice system (Cho 2009a(Cho , 2009bFoster and Hagan 2015;Haskins 2014Haskins , 2016Murray, Farrington, and Sekol 2012;Murray, Loeber, and Pardini 2012;Turney 2017;Turney and Wildeman 2015;Wildeman 2010;Wildeman and Andersen 2017). Beyond effects for the individual child, scholars suggest that parental incarceration has contributed to racial inequality in child well-being given the disproportionate impact of incarceration on individuals and families of color (Lee et al. 2015;Wildeman 2011, 2013). Yet despite the apparent convergence of research evidence indicating that parental incarceration has consequences for children's health and development, methodological and conceptual concerns related to selection bias continue to call into 779306S RDXXX10.1177 1 Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA 2 Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, USA question the causal nature of incarceration effects on children (Giordano and Copp 2015;Hagan and Dinovitzer 1999;Johnson and Easterling 2012;Sampson 2011). ...
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The aim of the current investigation was to examine the appropriateness of propensity score methods for the study of incarceration effects on children by directing attention to a range of conceptual and practical concerns, including the exclusion of theoretically meaningful covariates, the comparability of treatment and control groups, and potential ambiguities resulting from researcher-driven analytic decisions. Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, we examined the effects of maternal and paternal incarceration on a range of child well-being outcomes, including internalizing and externalizing problem behaviors, Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test scores, and early juvenile delinquency. Our findings suggested that propensity scores and treatment effect estimates are highly sensitive to a number of decisions made by the researcher, including aspects where little consensus exists. In light of the conceptual underpinnings of propensity score analysis and existing data limitations, we suggest the potential utility of different identification methods and specialized data collection efforts.
... Nearly 3 million children have an incarcerated parent, including one in nine black children, nearly all of whom are poor (Wakefield and Wildeman 2014). Finally, one in two black American women has a currently incarcerated family member, compared with one in eight white women in the United States (Lee et al. 2015). ...
Article
A promising new field of research examines racial disparities within the criminal legal system and reveals how mass incarceration contributes to already-existing social inequalities. This essay reviews three books that considerably advance this field: Pulled Over: How Police Stops Define Race and Citizenship, by Charles R. Epp, Steven Maynard-Moody, and Donald P. Haider-Markel; A Pound of Flesh: Monetary Sanctions as Punishment for the Poor, by Alexes Harris; and Crook County: Racism and Injustice in America’s Largest Criminal Court, by Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve. These books draw on the experiences of people directly affected by US crime control policy to reveal the precise mechanisms that produce and sustain racial disparities in arrests, sentencing, and the administration of court fines and fees, while speaking to the broader implications of mass incarceration for race and citizenship in the United States.
... Economically-disadvantaged neighbourhoods, meanwhile, face more forceful police supervision and further deterioration via the revolving door of mass incarceration (Clear 2009;Sampson and Loeffler 2010). Furthermore ethnoracially-and economicallysubjugated people are more likely to be or know someone who has been harassed by the police, sustained police violence, or been incarcerated (Geller and Scott 1992;Goff et al. 2016;Lee et al. 2015;Ross 2015;Terrill and Reisig 2003;Weitzer and Tuch 2014). ...
Article
Police violence is a pressing public health problem. To gauge the illness associations of police killings – the most severe form of police brutality, we compile a unique multilevel dataset that nests individual-level health data from the 2009–2013 New York City Community Health Survey (nij = 39,267) within neighbourhood-level data from 2003 to 2012 EpiQuery Vital Statistics (nj = 34). Using weighted hierarchical generalized linear models, we assess main and gendered associations between neighbourhood exposures to lethal policing and five illnesses. Holding all else constant, living in lethally surveilled areas is linked to a greater risk of high blood pressure and obesity for all neighbourhood residents and to a greater risk of obesity for women. Furthermore, illness risks are also gendered: Women face a 30–54 percent greater risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity compared to men. Lethal police brutality is an important neighbourhood risk factor for illness and, especially, for women’s health.
... But incarceration may also be consequential for the health of women and children attached to the men in minority groups who disproportionately experience it. Estimates indicate that 44% of African-American women have an imprisoned family member at any point in time (6). Furthermore, 25.1% and 3.3% of African-American children will experience paternal imprisonment and maternal imprisonment, respectively (7). ...
Article
Mass incarceration has profoundly restructured the life courses of not only marginalized adult men for whom this event is now so prevalent but also their families. We examined research published from 2000 to 2017 on the consequences of parental incarceration for child health in the United States. In addition to focusing on specific health outcomes, we also considered broader indicators of child well-being because there has been little research on the association between parental incarceration and objectively measured child health outcomes. Our findings support 4 conclusions. First, paternal incarceration is negatively associated-possibly causally so-with a range of child health and well-being indicators. Second, although some research has suggested a negative association between maternal incarceration and child health, the evidence on this front is mixed. Third, although the evidence for average effects of paternal incarceration on child health and well-being is strong, research has also suggested that some key factors moderate the association between paternal incarceration and child health and well-being. Finally, because of the unequal concentration of parental incarceration and the negative consequences this event has for children, mass incarceration has increased both intracountry inequality in child health in the United States and intercountry inequality in child health between the United States and other developed democracies. In light of these important findings, investment in data infrastructure-with emphasis on data sets that include reliable measures of parental incarceration and child health and data sets that facilitate causal inferences-is needed to understand the child health effects of parental incarceration.
... Students could have further explored how incarceration affects the health of loved ones, perhaps including direct testimonials from affected family members. Given that nearly half of Black women in the United States have a family member who is incarcerated, 24 students are likely to encounter these patients during their medical career. Due to time constraints, students also did not receive instruction from providers who had experience caring for people affected by incarceration. ...
Article
Introduction: While medical school curricula increasingly address health disparities, content regarding health care for persons impacted by incarceration is a persistent and notable gap. There is a high burden of disease among incarcerated populations, and health care challenges continue postincarceration. We developed a course to introduce medical students to the current landscape of mass incarceration in the US and implications for health and health care delivery to people impacted by this system. Methods: We developed a 3.5-hour elective course taken by 19 first-year medical students in its first year and 20 students in its second. The course utilized lecture, case-based discussion, and guest speaker modalities to introduce students to the history of mass incarceration, health care delivery within the carceral system, and challenges in accessing care during and following incarceration. Results: Students received two surveys after completing the course. In the first, 100% of respondents reported outstanding, excellent, or good levels of satisfaction with various elective components, including organization, learning activities, and student discussion. The second found significant increases in knowledge about mass incarceration and incarceration health issues, in addition to significant increases in interest in advocating or providing health care for incarcerated populations. Discussion: Given current mass incarceration practices, students will encounter patients impacted by this system. This elective course sought to better prepare students to effectively care for these patients. We were limited by time availability, and future directions include incorporating a standardized patient exercise, trauma-informed care principles, and providers working within the carceral system.
... That is, rising poverty and marginality in nonurban areas may fuel incarceration, and incarceration may, in turn, exacerbate poverty-related problems. This supposition is supported by evidence of mass incarceration's adverse effects on justiceinvolved people, as well on as their families and their communities (Clear, 2007;Comfort, 2007;Lee et al., 2014Lee et al., , 2015Sykes and Pettit, 2014;Wakefield & Wildeman, 2013;Wakefield et al., 2016;Western, 2006;Wildeman & Western, 2010). These adverse effects work to enhance poverty among the justice-involved and therefore to enhance inequality. ...
Article
Studies suggest that the spatial distribution of punishment in the United States is shifting. This article analyzes variation in prison admissions across US counties to deepen our understanding of the contemporary geography of punishment. While research on punishment generally treats economic and political theories of punishment as distinct, we draw on recent studies of penal attitudes to develop a theoretical argument regarding their possible interconnection. We then use Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) to test the hypothesis that conservatism, race, and disadvantage are associated with the use of prison and that these factors help to explain why prison admission rates are higher in rural and suburban counties than urban ones, despite notably higher crime rates in the latter. The results indicate that nonurban counties send more people to prison than urban counties and that socioeconomic disadvantage, the size of the Black population, and conservatism are significant predictors of prison admissions after controlling for crime‐related problems. These findings suggest that poverty, race, and politics work in concert to shape the distribution of punishment across 21st century America.
... 85 In 2006, nearly half of Black women had an immediate or extended family member imprisoned. 86 Adverse health outcomes occur during incarceration and after release through policies and discrimination that inhibit access to housing, employment, and health care. 5,8,84 Adverse health effects also occur among populations that are proximate to incarceration by relationship or geography. ...
Article
Purpose: Black women in the United States face poor outcomes across reproductive health measures-from pregnancy outcomes to gynecologic cancers. Racial health inequities are attributable to systemic racism, but few population studies of reproductive health outcomes integrate upstream measures of systemic racism, and those who do are limited to maternal and infant health outcomes. Advances in understanding and intervening on the pathway from racism to reproductive health outcomes are limited by a paucity of methodological guidance toward this end. We aim to fill this gap by identifying quantitative measures of systemic racism that are salient across reproductive health outcomes. Methods: We conducted a review of literature from 2000 to 2019 to identify studies that use quantitative measures of exposure to systemic racism in population reproductive health studies. We analyzed the catalog of literature to identify cohesive domains and measures that integrate data across domains. For each domain, we contextualize its use within population health research, describe metrics currently in use, and present opportunities for their application to reproductive health research. Results: We identified four domains of systemic racism that may affect reproductive health outcomes: (1) civil rights laws and legal racial discrimination, (2) residential segregation and housing discrimination, (3) police violence, and (4) mass incarceration. Multiple quantitative measures are available for each domain. In addition, a multidimensional measure exists and additional domains of systemic racism are salient for future development into distinct measures. Conclusion: There are quantitative measures of systemic racism available for incorporation into population studies of reproductive health that investigate hypotheses, including and beyond those related to maternal and infant health. There are also promising areas for future measure development, such as the child welfare system and intersectionality. Incorporating such measures is critical for appropriate assessment of and intervention in racial inequities in reproductive health outcomes.
... The rapid growth of the United States prison population since the 1980s has provided researchers with the perfect opportunity to investigate the effects of parental incarceration on children -a reality for a large number of American children, particularly those of African American heritage (Lee, McCormick, Hicken, & Wildeman, 2015;Wakefield & Wildeman, 2018). Generally, the importance of continued parental presence for child development is well established in the literature (Collins, Maccoby, Steinberg, Hetherington, & Bornstein, 2000). ...
Book
It is generally accepted that men commit more crimes than women. The widespread acceptance of this view is based primarily on the number of convictions with most jurisdictions reporting considerably fewer incarcerated women/girls than men/boys. This manuscript argues however that decisions made by the various stakeholders that play a role in the incarceration of men are inherently gendered. These decisions are based on patriarchal perceptions and stereotypes related to the familial roles of men and women, and by extension their motivations for offending. Few studies have sought to explore the nature of these perceptions, and the effect these may have on incarceration patterns. Indeed, this form of inquiry remains absent from the research agenda of Caribbean criminologists. Using qualitative data from Barbados, this book analyses the extent to which these factors are taken into consideration not only by the police and members of the judiciary, but by examining the gendered decisions made by shop managers and proprietors in cases involving shoplifting, it seeks to analyse the extent to which these factors are taken into consideration before incidents reach the justice system. Critically, this book seeks also to juxtapose these assumptions against testimony from men incarcerated at Her Majesty’s Prison. The large proportion of males in Caribbean prisons when compared to their female counterparts necessitates an investigation into the factors that may contribute to differential treatment as they move through the justice system. Using data from Barbados, the present study seeks to fill this need.
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Let us think for a moment, the United State is home to 5% of the world population, but 28% of the world's prisoners. That is more than one in four human beings in the world, with their hands-on bars, shackled, and locked up in the land of the free. Ninety-seven percent of this incarcerated people never had a trial. So as public support for criminal justice reform continues to build, it is now more important than ever that we get the facts straight and understand the big picture. With a much-needed clarity in crime rate and justice's system, this empirical analysis will be digging deep into available data to offer some much-needed clarity by piecing together the United States' disparate system of confinement. The study emphasizes the need to understand how 2.52 million people ended up in jails or prison and why the majority of those people are poor, and also brown and black. In the end, the reform of the criminal justice system is not about whether or not black lives matters, but it is about changing the way United States understands human dignity.
Article
Stigma is often cited as a mechanism driving the consequences of incarceration for formerly incarcerated people and their families. Few studies, however, provide quantitative evidence of the nature and strength of stigma stemming from direct and indirect interaction with jails. In this article, we use an experimental vignette design to make two contributions. First, we use two nonincarceration control groups that allow us to differentiate the stigma attached to incarceration relative to one condition that is not stigmatized (colorblindness) from another that is (drug addiction). Second, we test whether having a partner or family member who has been incarcerated in jail generates stigma. We find that having a formerly incarcerated relative negatively impacts perceptions of personality traits, financial deservingness, and parenting quality. We also show that the stigmatized control condition is comparable with the prior incarceration of a male relative, but more favorable than one’s own prior incarceration, indicating unique incarceration stigma. These findings have implications for our understanding of social inequality because they demonstrate how members of marginalized groups who are most likely to experience incarceration or have an incarcerated loved one continue to face informal social exclusion and the attendant consequences long after the formal punishment.
Article
The relative importance of racial and class inequality in incarceration in the United States has recently become the subject of much debate. In this paper, we seek to give this debate a stronger empirical foundation. First, we update previous research on racial and class inequality in people’s likelihood of being imprisoned. Then, we examine racial and class inequality in people’s risk of having a family member imprisoned or living in a high-imprisonment neighborhood. We find that racial inequality in prison admissions has fallen in the twenty-first century, while class inequality has surged. However, in recent years, Black people with high levels of education and income were more likely than white people with low levels of education and income to experience the imprisonment of a family member or to live in a neighborhood with a high imprisonment rate. These seemingly contradictory conclusions can be reconciled by the fact that enduring structures of racial domination have made class boundaries among Black people more permeable than they are among white people. Imprisonment in the United States is increasingly reserved for the poor. But because Black Americans are disproportionately connected to the poor through their families and neighborhoods, racial inequality exceeds class inequality in people’s indirect experiences with imprisonment.
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In the literature on transitional justice, there is disagreement about whether countries like the United States can be characterized as transitional societies. Though it is widely recognized that transitional justice mechanisms such as truth commissions and reparations can be used by Global North nations to address racial injustice, some consider societies to be transitional only when they are undergoing a formal democratic regime change. We conceptualize the political situation of low-income Black communities under the U.S. imprisonment and policing regime in terms of three criteria for identifying transitional contexts: normalized collective and political wrongdoing , pervasive structural inequality , and the failure of the rule of law. That these criteria are met, however, does not necessarily mean that a transition is taking place. Drawing on the American political development and abolition democracy literatures, we discuss what it would mean for the United States to transition out of its present imprisonment and policing regime. A transitional justice perspective shows the importance of not only pushing for truth and reparation, but for an actual transition.
Article
Public attitudes toward people who are incarcerated have been studied; however, there is a paucity of information regarding how the public views pregnant women who are incarcerated. We conducted a quantitative and qualitative assessment investigating attitudes toward pregnant women who are incarcerated and prison conditions at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Participants included 507 students, staff, and faculty who were asked to specifically consider pregnant women who are incarcerated while completing the survey. We found that women, younger people, non-religious or non-Christian individuals, and those with higher levels of formal education perceived pregnant women who are incarcerated more positively and favored less punitive prison conditions. In addition, closer proximity to people who are incarcerated was associated with more positive attitudes toward pregnant women who are incarcerated but was not related to views on prison conditions. Qualitatively, participants reported that considering pregnant women who are incarcerated led them to respond with the same or less negativity than if they had been asked to consider people who are incarcerated as a whole, citing factors such as gender stereotypes and concern for the child. These results can be used as a foundation to understand how students, faculty, and staff at a large Midwestern university perceive pregnant women who are incarcerated and to inform education and policy efforts.
Article
More than 600,000 people leave prison and become residents of neighborhoods across the United States annually. Using a longitudinal survey of people returning to Greater Boston, this study examines disparities in neighborhood attainment after prison. Accounting for levels of pre-prison neighborhood disadvantage, Black and Hispanic respondents moved into significantly more disadvantaged areas than Whites. Neighborhood residence was not attained by all: One-quarter of respondents left prison and entered formal institutional settings or lived in extreme social marginality throughout Boston. Neighborhood attachment was patterned by criminal justice involvement and experiences of material hardship in the year after prison. Findings indicate that housing insecurity, re-incarceration, and profound racial disparities in neighborhood context explain the ecological structure of social inequality in urban neighborhoods in an era of mass incarceration.
Article
In this Review, we assess how mass incarceration, a monumental American policy experiment, has affected families over the past five decades. We reach four conclusions. First, family member incarceration is now common for American families. Second, individuals who will eventually have a family member incarcerated are worse off than those who never will, even before the incarceration takes place. Third, family member incarceration has negative effects on families above and beyond these preexisting disadvantages. And finally, policy interventions that address the precursors to family member incarceration and seek to minimize family member incarceration would best enhance family well-being. If the goal is to help all American families thrive, then the importance of simultaneous changes in social and criminal justice policy cannot be overstated.
Article
Although the wisdom of mass incarceration is now widely questioned, incarceration rates have fallen far less than what would be predicted on the basis of crime trends. Informed by institutional studies of path dependence, socio‐legal scholarship on legal discretion and research suggesting that “late mass incarceration” is characterized by a moderated response to non‐violent crime but even stronger penalties for violent offenses, this article analyzes recent sentencing‐related reforms and case processing outcomes. Although the legislative findings reveal widespread willingness to moderate penalties for non‐violent crimes, the results also reveal a notably heightened system response to both violent and non‐violent crimes at the level of case processing. These findings help explain why the decline in incarceration rates has been notably smaller than the drop in crime rates, and are consistent with the literature on path dependence, which emphasizes that massive institutional developments enhance the capacity and motivation of institutional actors to preserve jobs, resources and authorities. The findings also underscore the importance of analyzing on‐the‐ground case processing outcomes as well as formal law when assessing the state and fate of complex institutional developments such as mass incarceration.
Article
Despite two decades of declining crime rates, the United States continues to incarcerate a historically and comparatively large segment of the population. Moreover, incarceration and other forms of criminal justice contact ranging from police stops to community supervision are disproportionately concentrated among African American and Latino men. Mass incarceration, and other ways in which the criminal justice system infiltrates the lives of families, has critical implications for inequality. Differential rates of incarceration damage the social and emotional development of children whose parents are in custody or under community supervision. The removal through incarceration of a large segment of earners reinforces existing income and wealth disparities. Patterns of incarceration and felony convictions have devastating effects on the level of voting, political engagement, and overall trust in the legal system within communities. Incarceration also has damaging effects on the health of families and communities. In short, the costs of mass incarceration are not simply collateral consequences for individuals but are borne collectively, most notably by African Americans living in acutely disadvantaged communities that experience high levels of policing and surveillance. In this article, we review racial and ethnic differences in exposure to the criminal justice system and its collective consequences.
Article
Although research on the intergenerational consequences of criminal justice contact has focused primarily on parental incarceration, scholars have called for greater attention to the reverberating effects of other family members’ entanglements with law enforcement on youth. Using longitudinal data from the Mobile Youth Survey (MYS), this study examines direct and indirect linkages between household member arrest and youth outcomes and considers the roles of social (parenting, peer normative climate) and emotional (anger expression) processes. Results suggest that household members’ involvement with the criminal justice system has consequences for youth’s behavioral and criminal justice outcomes. Moreover, although social and emotional processes appeared to “matter,” they did not account for the negative outcomes associated with household member arrest. Results suggest the importance of adopting broader perspectives on family criminal justice contact that include attention to household member arrest as well as to both direct and indirect effects. Findings are discussed in terms of directions for future research and the need to specify mechanisms by which household member arrest may increase risk for adverse youth outcomes.
Article
Research increasingly documents the repercussions of family member incarceration for health, but little is known about the relative health consequences of different types of family member incarceration (including parent, sibling, child, and romantic partner/co-parent incarceration) or demographic variation in the health consequences of family member incarceration. I used data from the Family History of Incarceration Survey (FamHIS), a nationally representative cross-sectional survey of U.S. adults (N = 2808), to estimate the association between family member incarceration history and mental health, net of covariates. Adjusted logistic regression models suggest three conclusions. First, immediate family member incarceration is positively associated with fair or poor mental health. Second, parent and sibling incarceration—but not child or romantic partner/co-parent incarceration—is positively associated with fair or poor mental health, but the different types of family member incarceration are not statistically different from one another. Third, the association between family member incarceration and fair or poor mental health is similar across race/ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and incarceration history. These findings highlight that any family member incarceration—and not necessarily the type of family member incarceration—has repercussions for mental health, and that these associations are not contingent on demographic characteristics. Given the concentration of family member incarceration among people of color and the poor, this adverse experience may exacerbate population health inequalities.
Conference Paper
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This study aims to determine the relationship between career adaptability and work engagement among millennial employees in Yogyakarta
Article
Objective This study examined the correlates of involvement in extended family social support networks among African Americans. Background Previous literature has documented the importance of informal social support from extended family members for the African American population. Most research has investigated black-white differences in network involvement or has focused on impoverished African American families. Both approaches conceal important within-group variation in participation among the total African American population. Method This study relied on nationally representative data from the African American sub-sample of the National Survey of American Life (n = 3538). It employed ordinary least squares regression analysis to examine the sociodemographic and family factors that are associated with four key measures of involvement in extended family support networks: receiving and providing extended family support, frequency of family contact, and degree of subjective closeness. Results African Americans routinely interacted with members of their family, displayed a high degree of family closeness, and exchanged support fairly frequently. Findings also revealed significant variation in network involvement by sociodemographic characteristics: women, younger adults, and Southerners were typically most involved; individuals who experienced greater material hardship, were previously incarcerated, or served in the military reported less involvement. Results also showed that family closeness and family contact were particularly salient factors shaping the extent to which network members engaged in support exchanges. Conclusion The magnitude of within-group heterogeneity in network involvement underscores the importance of considering issues of intragroup diversity in the developing literature on African American extended family networks.
Article
This study examined the relation between paternal criminal justice involvement (i.e., biological fathers incarcerated upon children’s entry into foster care) and emotional and behavioral outcomes among children in foster care; gender and racial differences were considered. Further, this study investigated whether in-person visits with fathers with and without criminal justice involvement related to children’s outcomes. The sample included of 274 children (M = 10.18, SD = 2.36 years) who entered foster care in 2011-2014 and whose fathers were allowed to have contact with them. About 15.7% of children had fathers who were incarcerated in a jail or prison when they entered foster care. Hierarchical Generalized Linear Modeling showed that paternal incarceration related to higher rates of externalizing behaviors but not internalizing symptoms. A significant interaction revealed the detrimental effects of incarceration were less pronounced among African American children. Finally, a significant interaction indicated that the association between paternal incarceration and externalizing behaviors was attenuated among children who had at least one visit with fathers. These results support efforts to promote the psychological adjustment of children of color while also working to eliminate disparities in contact with the criminal justice system and promote health equity, along with encourage visits between fathers involved in the criminal justice system and children in foster care.
Article
Parents’ relationships with their adult children play an important role in shaping mid and later life health. While these relationships are often sources of support, stressors in the lives of children can compromise parents’ health as they age. I consider that a child’s incarceration is also a stressor that could imperil parents’ health through social, emotional, and economic strains that parents may experience as a result. Using data on 3,159 mothers from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 in a series of lagged dependent variable regression models, I find that a child’s incarceration is associated with declines in maternal health between ages 40 and 50. These associations are largest for mothers who had grandchildren by their child at the time of the child’s incarceration. I close by discussing the implications of child incarceration for intergenerational ties and other social determinants of midlife health.
Article
Objective This study examines whether the incarceration of women's partners is associated with their own drug, alcohol, and cigarette use. Background Partners of incarcerated men face a number of stressors, including deteriorating relationships and economic instability. These stressors may lead women to engage in coping strategies that can negatively impact health. Methods Data come from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N = 3,733), a cohort study of mostly low‐income mothers in 20 large U.S. cities. Using lagged dependent variable models and propensity score matching, the authors estimate women's alcohol, drug, and cigarette use as a function of partner incarceration. The authors also examine mediators (relationship instability, economic instability, and diminished mental health) and moderators (race/ethnicity, residential status) of these associations. Results Partner incarceration was significantly associated with drug use only, and this association was concentrated among Black women. There was no evidence that this association operated through the studied mediators. Conclusion The findings suggest that the social contexts in which Black women live can make those who experience partner incarceration particularly vulnerable to drug use. Although the findings leave questions regarding the pathways through which partner incarceration is linked to drug use, they suggest that incarceration compounds the disadvantages Black women already face in a social system that stratifies access to social goods based on skin color and ethnic origin, which may contribute to health disparities more broadly.
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This article explores how we might best understand the effects of imprisonment on families and why this is important to a full understanding of prison as a form of punishment. The effects on families have broadly been understood within previous literature in one of two ways: either as ‘collateral consequences’, or as a form of secondary punishment extended to the family member. We suggest that the first of these descriptions is at best insufficient and at worst subordinating and marginalizing, while the second is inaccurate when family members have not committed an offence. We offer instead the concept of ‘symbiotic harms’ which we define as negative effects that flow both ways through the interdependencies of intimate associations such as kin relationships. The characteristics of these harms can be more fully described by a term which encompasses their relational, mutual, non-linear, agentic, and heterogeneous properties.
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W. E. B. Du Bois often appropriated and deployed the metaphor of “Prometheus,” drawing from Hesiod’s Theogony, Aeschylus’s Prometheus Bound, Goethe’s poem “Prometheus,” and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. Throughout Du Bois’s career, he employed this figure in order for the reader to better understand the racialized social order in general and White supremacy in specific. In what follows, I cover the eighteenth and nineteenth century use of the Prometheus metaphor in regard to critiques of racism and slavery. I then establish how Du Bois stepped into this tradition to advance a multifaceted critique of global White supremacy that continues to resonate today. Precisely, Du Bois rendered this character in six patterned forms: (1) as an embodiment of de jure and de facto segregation; (2) as newly conscious Black people that would soon revolt against White supremacy; (3) as the paradoxical capture and harm of White people by their own design; (4) as the prejudice, discrimination, and racism born of White supremacist politics; (5) as the struggle of Black folks against White supremacy; and (6) a Black-centered spiritual worldview of eventual liberation. Together, these six deployments signal the early manifestations of both critical race theory and Afrofuturism—two modes of inquiry that help us to reconsider not only the material repercussions of racial inequality but the pathways and roadblocks toward racial utopia.
Article
Incarceration can exacerbate economic hardships for families. Although families may need financial support from kin during this financially destabilizing time, some research indicates that partner incarceration diminishes the availability of support. Studies have focused on perceptions, but no study has examined actual support received. This study uses data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study ( N = 3,792) to show that partner incarceration is linked to a higher probability of receiving financial support and to receiving larger amounts of support. This provides encouraging evidence that women can rely on kin when partners are incarcerated, but it stands in contrast to previous research. Thus, this study also considers the apparent contradiction between women’s perceptions and the support they actually receive. These results provide suggestive evidence that women with incarcerated partners are more likely than other women to exhaust support, or use up all the financial support their kin can give.
Article
This study documents life course patterns of vicarious exposure to the criminal legal system among parents and siblings in the United States. The criminal legal system shapes family outcomes in important ways. Still, life course patterns of vicarious exposure to the system—especially to lower‐level contacts—among parents and siblings are not well documented. Using longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, Kaplan–Meier survival curves, and Cox regression models, we estimate cumulative risks of vicarious exposure to arrest, probation, and incarceration among parents (n = 3885 parents; 185,444 person‐years) and siblings (n = 1875; 44,766 person‐years) and examine disparities by race–ethnicity, gender, and education, and at their intersections. Vicarious exposure to the system is common—but highly unequal—among parents and siblings. Racially minoritized parents and siblings had greater levels and earlier risks of exposure. For example, by age 50, an estimated one in five Black parents experienced having a child incarcerated, a risk about twice as high as White and 50% higher than Latinx parents. By age 26, an estimated 6 in 10 Black young people with brothers experienced having a brother arrested; more than 4 in 10 experienced a brother on probation; and more than 3 in 10 experienced brother incarceration. For many estimates, racialized inequities in risks of vicarious system exposure widened at higher levels of education. These findings provide essential context for understanding the role of the criminal legal system in maintaining and exacerbating family inequality.
Article
en How do criminal justice interactions affect political participation and through what mechanisms? In this new era of criminal justice expansion, the number of people who have had interactions and who will interact with the criminal justice system has increased significantly. Notwithstanding the abundant scholarship detailing the expansion of the carceral state, the subsequent increases in carceral contact, and the negative externalities of punitivity, we know little about the mechanisms that drive the observed negative political consequences. We know what is happening but not how it is happening. I argue that predacious criminal justice policies are having a negative interpretative policy feedback effect on the well‐being of those contacted. First, I find that feelings of well‐being are strongly associated with political participation. Second, using structural equation modeling, I offer evidence that carceral contact has a strong direct effect on well‐being and a strong indirect effect on political participation mediated through measures of well‐being. Twenty‐three percent of the political suppression effect is an indirect effect of carceral contact mediated through well‐being. Abstract zh 与刑事司法产生的互动如何影响政治参与?通过哪些机制?在刑事司法扩大的新时代,那些曾与刑事司法体系有过接触,或将要接触该体系的人群数量已经显著增加。尽管存在大量学术文献详细描述刑事司法状态(carceral state)的扩大、随后刑事司法接触的增加、以及惩罚的消极外部性,但我们对所观察到的消极政治结果的驱动机制知之甚少。我们知道正在发生的是什么,但不知道它是如何发生的。我论证认为,暴力刑事司法政策正对那些被接触者的福祉产生消极的诠释性政策反馈效应。第一,我发现幸福感与政治参与强烈相关。第二,通过使用结构方程模型,我证明刑事司法接触对福祉产生强烈的直接效果,且对政治参与产生强烈的间接效果,这些效果是通过衡量幸福感产生的。通过衡量幸福感,23%的政治压迫效果是刑事司法接触产生的间接效果。 Abstract es ¿Cómo afectan las interacciones de la justicia penal a la participación política y a través de qué mecanismos? En esta nueva era de expansión de la justicia penal, el número de personas que han tenido interacciones y que interactuarán con el sistema de justicia penal ha aumentado significativamente. A pesar de la abundante erudición que detalla la expansión del estado carcelario, los aumentos posteriores en el contacto carcelario y las externalidades negativas de la punibilidad, sabemos poco sobre los mecanismos que impulsan las consecuencias políticas negativas observadas. Sabemos lo que está sucediendo, pero no cómo está sucediendo. Sostengo que las políticas de justicia penal predadoras están teniendo un efecto negativo de retroalimentación de política interpretativa sobre el bienestar de los contactados. Primero, encuentro que los sentimientos de bienestar están fuertemente asociados con la participación política. En segundo lugar, utilizando el modelo de ecuaciones estructurales, ofrezco evidencia de que el contacto en la cárcel tiene un fuerte efecto directo sobre el bienestar y un fuerte efecto indirecto sobre la participación política mediada a través de medidas de bienestar. El 23% del efecto de supresión política es un efecto indirecto del contacto en la cárcel mediado por el bienestar.
Article
Research on disadvantage across generations typically focuses on the resources that parents pass on to their children. Yet, social disadvantage might also result from the transmission of adverse experiences from children to their parents. This paper explores one such adverse experience by examining the influence of a son’s incarceration on his mother’s health. Using panel data from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and its young adult follow up (n=2,651 mothers; 18,390 observations), the paper shows that mothers are more likely to suffer health limitations after a son is incarcerated. A time-distributed fixed effects analysis indicates that the effect on maternal health may persist or even grow over time. Rather than a short-term shock whose effect soon diminishes, a son’s incarceration is a long-term strain on mothers’ health. The disproportionate incarceration of young men in disadvantaged communities is thus likely to contribute to cumulative adversity among mothers already at risk of severe hardship. More broadly, the results suggest how children’s adverse experiences may influence parental well-being, producing further disadvantage across generations.
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Patterns of incarceration transmit generationally causing damage to families and communities across decades. Literature is replete with studies on the harmful impact of parental incarceration but is missing the voice of those living within this cycle. This study highlights the perspectives and lived experiences of those who have parents who have been incarcerated, are currently incarcerated themselves, and have children of their own. This middle generation sheds light on how and why they followed in their parents' footsteps and their desire to break this pattern for their own children. Implications and recommendations are discussed.
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Though sociologists have examined how mass incarceration affects stratification, remarkably little is known about how it shapes educational disparities. Analyzing the Fragile Families Study and its rich paternal incarceration data, I ask whether black and white children with fathers who have been incarcerated are less prepared for school both cognitively and non-cognitively as a result, and whether racial and gendered disparities in incarceration help explain the persistence of similar gaps in educational outcomes and trajectories. Using a variety of estimation strategies, I show that experiencing paternal incarceration by age five is associated with lower non-cognitive school readiness. While the main effect of incarceration does not vary by race, boys with incarcerated fathers have substantially worse non-cognitive skills at school entry, impacting the likelihood of special education placement at age nine. Mass incarceration facilitates the intergenerational transmission of male behavioral disadvantage, and because of the higher exposure of black children to incarceration, it also plays a role in explaining the persistently low achievement of black boys.
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High rates of imprisonment among American fathers have motivated an ongoing examination of incarceration's role in family life. A growing literature suggests that incarceration creates material and socioemotional challenges not only for prisoners and former prisoners but also for their families and communities. The authors examined the relationship between fathers' incarceration and one such challenge: the housing insecurity of the mothers of their children. Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N = 4,125) and a series of longitudinal regression models, they found that mothers' housing security was compromised following their partners' incarceration, an association likely driven in part, but not entirely, by financial challenges following his time in prison or jail. Given the importance of stable housing for the continuity of adult employment, children's schooling, and other inputs to healthy child development, the findings suggest a grave threat to the well-being of children with incarcerated fathers.
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In some American schools, about a fifth of the fathers have spent time in prison during their child’s primary education. We examine how variation across schools in the aggregation and concentration of the mass imprisonment of fathers is associated with their own children’s intergenerational educational outcomes and “spills over” into the attainments of other students. We assess the association of this interinstitutional and intergenerational “prison through school pathway” with downward and blocked educational achievement. Educational and economic resources and other predisposing variables partially explain school-linked effects of paternal imprisonment on measures of children’s educational outcomes. However, we find that the net negative school-level association of paternal imprisonment with educational outcomes persists even after we introduce school- and individual-level measures of a wide range of mediating processes and extraneous control variables. We discuss paternal imprisonment as a form of “marked absence.” The significance of elevated levels of paternal imprisonment in schools is perhaps most apparent in its negative association with college completion, the educational divide that now most dramatically disadvantages individuals and groups in American society.
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This article explores intergenerational implications, specifically the troubled transitions of the children of incarcerated fathers from adolescence to adulthood. Although crime rates have decreased annually since the early 1990s, the social exclusion of fathers through imprisonment has increased, as has the further exclusion of young adults through homelessness, health-care uninsuredness, and political nonparticipation. Our latent class analysis indicates that 15 percent of youth are socially excluded, an estimate similar to administrative estimates of severely "disconnected" youth. We combine the logic of a cumulative disadvantage theory and the status attainment paradigm with three waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) to examine the effects of father's imprisonment on the social detainment and exclusion of children during the transition to adulthood. Problems of socialization and strain associated with the incarceration and absence of biological fathers, as well as state sanctioning of youth from these disrupted families, are important aspects of the cumulative process of disadvantage that we identify in these data; however, the interconnected roles of father's incarceration and intergenerational educational detainment are pivotal in producing exclusionary outcomes for children in emerging adulthood. Although there is much evidence that the effects we examine are generic across gender, there is also more specific evidence that the absence of biological fathers from households associated with incarceration leaves daughters at special risk of abuse and neglect by nonbiological father figures and through homelessness during the transition to adulthood.
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Have the core discussion networks of Americans changed in the past two decades? In 1985, the General Social Survey (GSS) collected the first nationally representative data on the confidants with whom Americans discuss important matters. In the 2004 GSS the authors replicated those questions to assess social change in core network structures. Discussion networks are smaller in 2004 than in 1985. The number of people saying there is no one with whom they discuss important matters nearly tripled. The mean network size decreases by about a third (one confidant), from 2.94 in 1985 to 2.08 in 2004. The modal respondent now reports having no confidant; the modal respondent in 1985 had three confidants. Both kin and non-kin confidants were lost in the past two decades, but the greater decrease of non-kin ties leads to more confidant networks centered on spouses and parents, with fewer contacts through voluntary associations and neighborhoods. Most people have densely interconnected confidants similar to them. Some changes reflect the changing demographics of the U.S. population. Educational heterogeneity of social ties has decreased, racial heterogeneity has increased. The data may overestimate the number of social isolates, but these shrinking networks reflect an important social change in America.
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In this paper we develop a method to estimate both individual social network size (i.e., degree) and the distribution of network sizes in a population by asking respondents how many people they know in specific subpopulations (e.g., people named Michael). Building on the scale-up method of Killworth et al. (1998b) and other previous attempts to estimate individual network size, we propose a latent non-random mixing model which resolves three known problems with previous approaches. As a byproduct, our method also provides estimates of the rate of social mixing between population groups. We demonstrate the model using a sample of 1,370 adults originally collected by McCarty et al. (2001). Based on insights developed during the statistical modeling, we conclude by offering practical guidelines for the design of future surveys to estimate social network size. Most importantly, we show that if the first names to be asked about are chosen properly, the simple scale-up degree estimates can enjoy the same bias-reduction as that from the our more complex latent non-random mixing model.
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Psychiatric disorders are unusually prevalent among current and former inmates, but it is not known what this relationship reflects. A putative causal relationship is contaminated by assorted influences, including childhood disadvantage, the early onset of most disorders, and the criminalization of substance use. Using the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (N = 5692), we examine the relationship between incarceration and psychiatric disorders after statistically adjusting for multidimensional influences. The results indicate that (1) some of the most common disorders found among former inmates emerge in childhood and adolescence and therefore predate incarceration; (2) the relationships between incarceration and disorders are smaller for current disorders than lifetime disorders, suggesting that the relationship between incarceration and disorders dissipates over time; and (3) early substance disorders anticipate later incarceration and other psychiatric disorders simultaneously, indicating selection. Yet the results also reveal robust and long-lasting relationships between incarceration and certain disorders, which are not inconsequential for being particular. Specifically, incarceration is related to subsequent mood disorders, related to feeling "down," including major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and dysthymia. These disorders, in turn, are strongly related to disability, more strongly than substance abuse disorders and impulse control disorders. Although often neglected as a health consequence of incarceration, mood disorders might explain some of the additional disability former inmates experience following release, elevating their relevance for those interested in prisoner reintegration.
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We present new evidence on the effect of aggregate changes in incarceration on changes in crime that accounts for the potential simultaneous relationship between incarceration and crime. Our principal innovation is that we develop an instrument for future changes in incarceration rates based on the theoretically predicted dynamic adjustment path of the aggregate incarceration rate in response to a shock (from whatever source) to prison entrance or exit transition probabilities. Given that incarceration rates adjust to permanent changes in behavior with a dynamic lag (given that only a fraction of offenders are apprehended in any one period), one can identify variation in incarceration that is not contaminated by contemporary changes in criminal behavior. We isolate this variation and use it to tease out the causal effect of incarceration on crime. Using state level data for the United States covering the period from 1978 to 2004, we find crime-prison elasticities that are considerably larger than those implied by OLS estimates. For the entire time period, we find average crime-prison effects with implied elasticities of between -0.06 and -0.11 for violent crime and between -0.15 and -0.21 for property crime. We also present results for two sub-periods of our panel: 1978 to 1990 and 1991 to 2004. Our IV estimates for the earlier time period suggest much larger crime-prison effects, with elasticity estimates consistent with those presented in Levitt (1996) who analyzes a similar time period yet with an entirely different identification strategy. For the latter time period, however, the effects of changes in prison on crime are much smaller. Our results indicate that recent increases in incarceration have generated much less bang-per-buck in terms of crime reduction.
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In the past three decades, incarceration has become an increasingly powerful force for reproducing and reinforcing social inequalities. A new wave of sociological research details the contemporary experiment with mass incarceration in the United States and its attendant effects on social stratification. This review first describes the scope of imprisonment and the process of selection into prison. It then considers the implications of the prison boom for understanding inequalities in the labor market, educational attainment, health, families, and the intergenerational transmission of inequality. Social researchers have long understood selection into prison as a reflection of existing stratification processes. Today, research attention has shifted to the role of punishment in generating these inequalities.
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Although recent studies suggest that 13% of young adults, including at least one-fourth of African Americans, experience parental incarceration, little research has examined links between parental incarceration and physical health. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (1994–2008) and gender-based theories of stress, the authors examined whether parental incarceration is associated with increased body mass index among women but not men. Panel analysis spanning adolescence and adulthood, controlling for stressful life events, internalizing behaviors, and a range of individual, familial, and neighborhood characteristics, reveals that body mass index for women who have experienced parental incarceration is 0.49 units (P < 0.004) higher than that for women whose parents have never been incarcerated. This association is not evident among men. Similarly, in change score models between waves II and IV, women experiencing parental incarceration have a 0.92-unit increase in body mass index (P < 0.026) relative to women who did not have a parent undergo incarceration. In supplemental analysis examining if gender differences in incarceration stress response (externalizing vs. internalizing) explain these findings, the authors found that obesity status moderates the relation between depression and parental incarceration. Results suggest a stress internalization process that, for the first time, links parental incarceration with obesity among women.
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High rates of incarceration among American men, coupled with high rates of fatherhood among men in prison, have motivated recent research on the effects of parental imprisonment on children's development. We use data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to examine the relationship between paternal incarceration and developmental outcomes for approximately 3,000 urban children. We estimate cross-sectional and longitudinal regression models that control not only for fathers' basic demographic characteristics and a rich set of potential confounders, but also for several measures of pre-incarceration child development and family fixed effects. We find significant increases in aggressive behaviors and some evidence of increased attention problems among children whose fathers are incarcerated. The estimated effects of paternal incarceration are stronger than those of other forms of father absence, suggesting that children with incarcerated fathers may require specialized support from caretakers, teachers, and social service providers. The estimated effects are stronger for children who lived with their fathers prior to incarceration but are also significant for children of nonresident fathers, suggesting that incarceration places children at risk through family hardships including and beyond parent-child separation.
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Using 2006 General Social Survey data, the authors compare levels of segregation by race and along other dimensions of potential social cleavage in the contemporary United States. Americans are not as isolated as the most extreme recent estimates suggest. However, hopes that "bridging" social capital is more common in broader acquaintanceship networks than in core networks are not supported. Instead, the entire acquaintanceship network is perceived by Americans to be about as segregated as the much smaller network of close ties. People do not always know the religiosity, political ideology, family behaviors, or socioeconomic status of their acquaintances, but perceived social divisions on these dimensions are high, sometimes rivaling racial segregation in acquaintanceship networks. The major challenge to social integration today comes from the tendency of many Americans to isolate themselves from others who differ on race, political ideology, level of religiosity, and other salient aspects of social identity.
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The life expectancy of persons cycling through the prison system is unknown. The authors sought to determine the 15.5-year survival of 23,510 persons imprisoned in the state of Georgia on June 30, 1991. After linking prison and mortality records, they calculated standardized mortality ratios (SMRs). The cohort experienced 2,650 deaths during follow-up, which were 799 more than expected (SMR = 1.43, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.38, 1.49). Mortality during incarceration was low (SMR = 0.85, 95% CI: 0.77, 0.94), while postrelease mortality was high (SMR = 1.54, 95% CI: 1.48, 1.61). SMRs varied by race, with black men exhibiting lower relative mortality than white men. Black men were the only demographic subgroup to experience significantly lower mortality while incarcerated (SMR = 0.66, 95% CI: 0.58, 0.76), while white men experienced elevated mortality while incarcerated (SMR = 1.28, 95% CI: 1.10, 1.48). Four causes of death (homicide, transportation, accidental poisoning, and suicide) accounted for 74% of the decreased mortality during incarceration, while 6 causes (human immunodeficiency virus infection, cancer, cirrhosis, homicide, transportation, and accidental poisoning) accounted for 62% of the excess mortality following release. Adjustment for compassionate releases eliminated the protective effect of incarceration on mortality. These results suggest that the low mortality inside prisons can be explained by the rarity of deaths unlikely to occur in the context of incarceration and compassionate releases of moribund patients.
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This paper investigates the connection between incarceration dynamics and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) infection rates, with particular emphasis on the black-white AIDS rate disparity. Using case-level U.S. data spanning 1982-96, we model the dynamic relationship between AIDS infection rates and the proportion of men in the age-, state-, and race-matched cohort that are incarcerated. We find strong effects of male incarceration rates on male and female AIDS rates. The dynamic structure of this relationship parallels the incubation time between human immunodeficiency virus infection and the onset of full-blown AIDS. These results persist after controlling for year fixed effects; a fully interacted set of age, race, and state fixed effects; crack cocaine prevalence; and flow rates in and out of prison. The results reveal that higher incarceration rates among black males over this period explain the lion's share of the racial disparity in AIDS infection among women. (c) 2009 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved..
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Incarceration is associated with increased cardiovascular disease mortality, but prospective studies exploring mechanisms of this association are lacking. We examined the independent association of prior incarceration with incident hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia using the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study-a cohort of young adults aged 18 to 30 years at enrollment in 1985-1986, balanced by sex, race (black and white), and education (high school education or less). We also examined the association of incarceration with left ventricular hypertrophy on echocardiography and with barriers to health care access. Of 4350 participants, 288 (7%) reported previous incarceration. Incident hypertension in young adulthood was more common among former inmates than in those without incarceration history (12% vs 7%; odds ratio, 1.7 [95% confidence interval {CI}, 1.2-2.6]), and this association persisted after adjustment for smoking, alcohol and illicit drug use, and family income (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.6 [95% CI, 1.0-2.6]). Incarceration was significantly associated with incident hypertension in those groups with the highest prevalence of prior incarceration, ie, black men (AOR, 1.9 [95% CI, 1.1-3.5]) and less-educated participants (AOR, 4.0 [95% CI, 1.0-17.3]). Former inmates were more likely to have left ventricular hypertrophy (AOR, 2.7, [95% CI, 0.9-7.9]) and to report no regular source for medical care (AOR, 2.5, [95% CI, 1.3-4.8]). Cholesterol levels and diabetes rates did not differ by history of incarceration. Incarceration is associated with future hypertension and left ventricular hypertrophy among young adults. Identification and treatment of hypertension may be important in reducing cardiovascular disease risk among formerly incarcerated individuals.
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The U.S. population of former prison inmates is large and growing. The period immediately after release may be challenging for former inmates and may involve substantial health risks. We studied the risk of death among former inmates soon after their release from Washington State prisons. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all inmates released from the Washington State Department of Corrections from July 1999 through December 2003. Prison records were linked to the National Death Index. Data for comparison with Washington State residents were obtained from the Wide-ranging OnLine Data for Epidemiologic Research system of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mortality rates among former inmates were compared with those among other state residents with the use of indirect standardization and adjustment for age, sex, and race. Of 30,237 released inmates, 443 died during a mean follow-up period of 1.9 years. The overall mortality rate was 777 deaths per 100,000 person-years. The adjusted risk of death among former inmates was 3.5 times that among other state residents (95% confidence interval [CI], 3.2 to 3.8). During the first 2 weeks after release, the risk of death among former inmates was 12.7 (95% CI, 9.2 to 17.4) times that among other state residents, with a markedly elevated relative risk of death from drug overdose (129; 95% CI, 89 to 186). The leading causes of death among former inmates were drug overdose, cardiovascular disease, homicide, and suicide. Former prison inmates were at high risk for death after release from prison, particularly during the first 2 weeks. Interventions are necessary to reduce the risk of death after release from prison.
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At no time in history, and certainly in no other democratic society, have prisons been filled so quickly and to such capacity than in the United States. And nowhere has this growth been more concentrated than in the disadvantaged-and primarily minority-neighborhoods of America's largest urban cities. In the most impoverished places, as much as 20% of the adult men are locked up on any given day, and there is hardly a family without a father, son, brother, or uncle who has not been behind bars. While the effects of going to and returning home from prison are well-documented, little attention has been paid to the impact of removal on neighborhoods where large numbers of individuals have been imprisoned. In the first detailed, empirical exploration of the effects of mass incarceration on poor places, this book demonstrates that in high doses incarceration contributes to the very social problems it is intended to solve-it breaks up family and social networks; deprives siblings, spouses, and parents of emotional and financial support; threatens the economic and political infrastructure of already struggling neighborhoods; and destabilizes the community, thus further reducing public safety. Especially at risk are children who, research shows, are more likely to commit a crime if a father or brother has been to prison. Demonstrating that the current incarceration policy in urban America does more harm than good, from increasing crime to widening racial disparities and diminished life chances for youths, the book argues that we cannot overcome the problem of mass incarceration concentrated in poor places without incorporating an idea of community justice into our failing correctional and criminal justice systems.
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5.4 million Americans-one in every forty voting age adults-are denied the right to participate in democratic elections because of a past or current felony conviction. In several American states, one in four black men cannot vote due to a felony conviction. In a country that prides itself on universal suffrage, how did the United States come to deny a voice to such a large percentage of its citizenry? What are the consequences of large-scale disenfranchisement-both for election outcomes, and for public policy more generally? This book exposes one of the most important, yet little known, threats to the health of American democracy today. It reveals the centrality of racial factors in the origins of these laws, and their impact on politics today. Marshalling the first real empirical evidence on the issue to make a case for reform, this analysis informs all future policy and political debates on the laws governing the political rights of criminals.
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Although growth in the U.S. prison population over the past twenty-five years has been widely discussed, few studies examine changes in inequality in imprisonment. We study penal inequality by estimating lifetime risks of imprisonment for black and white men at different levels of education. Combining administrative, survey, and census data, we estimate that among men born between 1965 and 1969, 3 percent of whites and 20 percent of blacks had served time in prison by their early thirties. The risks of incarceration are highly stratified by education. Among black men born during this period, 30 percent of those without college education and nearly 60 percent of high school dropouts went to prison by 1999. The novel pervasiveness of imprisonment indicates the emergence of incarceration as a new stage in the life course of young low-skill black men.
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In response to dramatic increases in imprisonment, a burgeoning literature considers the consequences of incarceration for family life, almost always documenting negative outcomes. But effects of incarceration may be more complicated and nuanced. In this article, we consider the countervailing consequences of paternal incarceration for a host of family relationships, including fathers' parenting, mothers' parenting, and the relationship between parents. Using longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, we find recent paternal incarceration sharply diminishes parenting behaviors among residential but not nonresidential fathers. Virtually all of the association between incarceration and parenting among residential fathers is explained by changes in fathers' relationships with their children's mothers. Consequences for mothers' parenting, however, are weak and inconsistent. Furthermore, our findings show recent paternal incarceration sharply increases the probability a mother repartners, potentially offsetting some losses from the biological father's lesser involvement while simultaneously leading to greater family complexity. Taken together, the collateral consequences of paternal incarceration for family life are complex and countervailing.
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A life course perspective on crime indicates that incarceration can disrupt key life transitions. Life course analysis of occupations finds that earnings mobility depends on stable employment in career jobs. These two lines of research thus suggest that incarceration reduces ex-inmates' access to the steady jobs that usually produce earnings growth among young men. Consistent with this argument, evidence for slow wage growth among ex-inmates is provided by analysis of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Because incarceration is so prevalent-one-quarter of black non-college males in the survey were interviewed between 1979 and 1998 while in prison or jail-the effect of imprisonment on individual wages also increases aggregate race and ethnic wage inequality.
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The rise in mass incarceration, as well as its unequal distribution across the population, may widen inequalities among individuals and families. In this manuscript, I use data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a data source uniquely situated to understand the collateral consequences of incarceration, to consider the consequences of paternal incarceration for an overlooked aspect of family life: maternal parenting (measured by neglect, psychological aggression, and physical aggression). Results show that, among parents living together prior to paternal incarceration, confinement has modest, positive associations with maternal neglect and physical aggression, and that changes in family life (including relationship characteristics, economic insecurity, and mental health) following incarceration explain some of these associations. Additionally, there is some evidence that the consequences of paternal incarceration for neglect are strongest among mothers with a low propensity for sharing a child with a recently incarcerated father. Taken together, these results suggest that incarceration—given its concentration among disadvantaged families and, at least in one domain, its most consequential effects for the most advantaged of these disadvantaged families—has complicated and countervailing implications for inequalities in family life.
Article
Rising imprisonment rates and declining marriage rates among low-education African Americans motivate an analysis of the effects of incarceration on marriage. An event history analysis of 2,041 unmarried men from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth suggests that men are unlikely to marry in the years they serve in prison. A separate analysis of 2,762 married men shows that incarceration during marriage significantly increases the risk of divorce or separation. We simulate aggregate marriage rates using estimates from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and find that the prevalence of marriage would change little if incarceration rates were reduced.
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As the American imprisonment rate has risen, researchers have become increasingly concerned about the implications of mass imprisonment for family life. The authors extend this research by examining how paternal incarceration is linked to perceived instrumental support among the mothers of inmates' children. Results from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N = 4,132) suggest that recent, but not current, paternal incarceration is independently associated with less maternal perceived instrumental support and that this association persists after adjusting for a rich set of control variables, including prior perceived instrumental support. For families of recently incarcerated men, incarceration may be a double strike, simultaneously increasing the need for instrumental support while decreasing its availability when incarcerated fathers return to the community.
Article
We use data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to consider the effects of maternal incarceration on 21 caregiver- and teacher-reported behavioral problems among 9-year-old children. The results suggest three primary conclusions. First, children of incarcerated mothers are a disadvantaged group that exhibit high levels of caregiver- and teacher-reported behavioral problems. Second, after we adjust for selection, the effects of maternal incarceration on children's behavioral problems are consistently null (for 19 of 21 outcomes) and rarely positive (1 of 21) or negative (1 of 21), suggesting that the poor outcomes of these children are driven by disadvantages preceding maternal incarceration rather than incarceration. These effects, however, vary across race/ethnicity, with maternal incarceration diminishing caregiver-reported behavioral problems among non-Hispanic whites. Finally, in models considering both maternal and paternal incarceration, paternal incarceration is associated with more behavioral problems, which is consistent with previous research and suggests that the null effects of maternal incarceration are not artifacts of our sample or analytic decisions.
Article
Objectives: We examined the association of family member incarceration with cardiovascular risk factors and disease by gender. Methods: We used a sample of 5470 adults aged 18 years and older in the National Survey of American Life, a 2001-2003 nationally representative cross-sectional survey of Blacks and Whites living in the United States, to examine 5 self-reported health conditions (diabetes, hypertension, heart attack or stroke, obesity, and fair or poor health). Results: Family member incarceration was associated with increased likelihood of poor health across all 5 conditions for women but not for men. In adjusted models, women with family members who were currently incarcerated had 1.44 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.03, 2.00), 2.53 (95% CI = 1.80, 3.55), and 1.93 (95% CI = 1.45, 2.58) times the odds of being obese, having had a heart attack or stroke, and being in fair or poor health, respectively. Conclusions: Family member incarceration has profound implications for women's cardiovascular health and should be considered a unique risk factor that contributes to racial disparities in health.
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In this article, we examine the possible impact of mass imprisonment on the physical health of African American women. Specifically, we focus on a variety of mechanisms through which mass imprisonment may increase the risk of having three major chronic health conditions that are risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD): hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. This approach is distinctive in that it provides a broad theoretical framework through which mass imprisonment might harm the physical health of African American women in ways separate from the pathways linking mass imprisonment to their risk of contracting infectious diseases (especially HIV and other STIs), which has been the emphasis of most research in this area. In order to draw these connections, we begin by briefly discussing what mass imprisonment is and its social consequences. We then discuss our three CVD risk factors, documenting disparities between white and African American women in these risk factors and discussing mechanisms through which mass imprisonment might contribute to these disparities. We close by discussing the data needed to test our hypotheses and suggesting some avenues for future research.
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A burgeoning literature considers the consequences of mass imprisonment for the well-being of adult men and—albeit to a lesser degree—their children. Yet virtually no quantitative research considers the consequences of mass imprisonment for the well-being of the women who are the link between (former) prisoners and their children. This article extends research on the collateral consequences of mass imprisonment by considering the association between paternal incarceration and maternal mental health using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. Results show that recent paternal incarceration increases a mother’s risk of a major depressive episode and her level of life dissatisfaction, net of a variety of influences including prior mental health. The empirical design lends confidence to a causal interpretation: effects of recent incarceration persist even when the sample is limited to mothers attached to previously incarcerated men, which provides a rigorous counterfactual. In addition, the empirical design is comprehensive; after isolating key mechanisms anticipated in the literature, we reduce the relationship between recent paternal incarceration and maternal mental health to statistical insignificance. These results imply that the penal system may have important effects on poor women’s well-being beyond increasing their economic insecurity, compromising their marriage markets, or magnifying their risk of divorce.
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This paper examines how experience with the criminal justice system contextualizes the relationship between people’s attitudes toward informal and formal social controls. In a survey of residents of Leon County, Florida, we asked respondents whether or not they knew someone who had been incarcerated. We also asked about their assessment of informal controls in their neighborhoods and about public control with questions about police, judges, and the criminal justice system as a whole. We find that knowing someone who has been incarcerated makes people with a low assessment of formal control also have a low opinion of informal control. Blacks are more likely than nonblacks to have a low opinion of informal social control only if they have not been exposed to incarceration. Knowing someone who has been incarcerated makes blacks and nonblacks just as likely to hold a negative assessment of informal social control.
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This article addresses two basic questions. First, it examines whether incarceration has a lasting impact on health functioning. Second, because blacks are more likely than whites to be exposed to the negative effects of the penal system—including fractured social bonds, reduced labor market prospects, and high levels of infectious disease—it considers whether the penal system contributes to racial health disparities. Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and both regression and propensity matching estimators, the article empirically demonstrates a significant relationship between incarceration and later health status. More specifically, incarceration exerts lasting effects on midlife health functioning. In addition, this analysis finds that, due primarily to disproportionate rates of incarceration, the penal system plays a role in perpetuating racial differences in midlife physical health functioning.
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Comparative research contrasts the corporatist welfare states of Europe with the unregulated U.S. labor market to explain low rates of U.S. unemployment in the 1980s and 1990s. In contrast, this article argues that the U.S. state made a large and coercive intervention into the labor market through the expansion of the penal system. The impact of incarceration on unemployment has two conflicting dynamics. In the short run, U.S. incarceration lowers conventional unemployment measures by removing able-bodied, working-age men from labor force counts. In the long run, social survey data show that incarceration raises unemployment by reducing the job prospects of ex-convicts. Strong U.S. employment performance in the 1980s and 1990s has thus depended in part on a high and increasing incarceration rate.
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Aspects of interpersonal networks in which Americans discuss "important matters" are examined using data from the 1985 General Social Survey. These are the first survey network data representative of the American population. The networks are small, kin-centered, relatively dense, and homogeneous in comparison with the sample of respondents. Bivariate examination of subgroup differences by age, education, race/ethnicity, sex, and size of place indicates that network range is greatest among the young, the highly educated, and metropolitan residents. Sex differences consist primarily of differences in kin/nonkin composition of networks.
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To explain the astounding over-representation of blacks behind bars that has driven mass imprisonment in the United States, one must break out of the `crime-and-punishment' paradigm to reckon the extra-penological function of the criminal justice system as instrument for the management of dispossessed and dishonored groups. This article places the prison in the historical sequence of `peculiar institutions' that have shouldered the task of defining and confining African Americans, alongside slavery, the Jim Crow regime, and the ghetto. The recent upsurge in black incarceration results from the crisis of the ghetto as device for caste control and the correlative need for a substitute apparatus for the containment of lower-class African Americans. In the post-Civil Rights era, the vestiges of the dark ghetto and the expanding prison system have become linked by a triple relationship of functional equivalency, structural homology, and cultural fusion, spawning a carceral continuum that entraps a population of younger black men rejected by the deregulated wage-labor market. This carceral mesh has been solidified by changes that have reshaped the urban `Black Belt' of mid-century so as to make the ghetto more like a prison and undermined the `inmate society' residing in U.S. penitentiaries in ways that make the prison more like a ghetto. The resulting symbiosis between ghetto and prison not only perpetuates the socioeconomic marginality and symbolic taint of the black subproletariat, feeding the runaway growth of the carceral system. It also plays a pivotal role in the remaking of `race', the redefinition of the citizenry via the production of a racialized public culture of vilification of criminals, and the construction of a post-Keynesian state that replaces the social-welfare treatment of poverty by its penal management.
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This article extends research on the consequences of parental incarceration for child well-being, the effects of mass imprisonment on black-white inequalities in child well-being, and the factors shaping black-white inequalities in infant mortality by considering the relationship between imprisonment and infant mortality, using individual- and state-level data from the United States, 1990 through 2003. Results using data from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) show that parental incarceration is associated with elevated early infant mortality risk and that partner violence moderates this relationship. Infants of recently incarcerated fathers who are not abusive have twice the mortality risk of other infants, but there is no association if the father was abusive. Results from state-level analyses show a positive association between the imprisonment rate and the total infant mortality rate, black infant mortality rate, and black-white inequality in the infant mortality rate. Assuming a causal effect, results show that had the imprisonment rate remained at its 1990 level, the 2003 infant mortality rate would have been 3.9 percent lower, black-white inequality in the infant mortality rate 8.8 percent lower. Thus, results imply that imprisonment may have health consequences that extend beyond ever-imprisoned men to their social correlates and that these health spillover effects are not limited to infectious disease.
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In response to drastic increases and enduring disparities in American imprisonment, researchers have produced an expansive literature on the effects of mass imprisonment on inequality in America. We discuss this literature in three parts. First, we consider the obstacles to estimating the effects of imprisonment on individuals and to using those estimates to calculate the macrolevel impact of incarceration. Second, we review existing literature on the effect of mass imprisonment on inequalities in health and family life. Finally, we close by suggesting directions for future research.
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Contact with the criminal justice system is greater today than at any time in our history. In this article, we argue that interactions with criminal justice are an important source of political socialization, in which the lessons that are imprinted are antagonistic to democratic participation and inspire negative orientations toward government. To test this argument, we conduct the first systematic empirical exploration of how criminal justice involvement shapes the citizenship and political voice of a growing swath of Americans. We find that custodial involvement carries with it a substantial civic penalty that is not explained by criminal propensity or socioeconomic differences alone. Given that the carceral state has become a routine site of interaction between government and citizens, institutions of criminal justice have emerged as an important force in defining citizen participation and understandings, with potentially dire consequences for democratic ideals.
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This essay provides estimates of the influence of mass imprisonment on racial disparities in childhood well-being. To do so, we integrate results from three existing studies in a novel way. The first two studies use two contemporary, broadly representative data sets to estimate the effects of paternal incarceration on a range of child behavioral and mental health problems. The third study estimates changes in Black–White disparities in the risk of paternal imprisonment across the 1978 and 1990 American birth cohorts. Our research demonstrates the following: Our results add to a growing research literature indicating that the costs associated with mass imprisonment extend far beyond well-documented impacts on current inmates. The legacy of mass incarceration will be continued and worsening racial disparities in childhood mental health and well-being, educational attainment, and occupational attainment. Moreover, the negative effects of mass imprisonment for childhood well-being are likely to remain, even if incarceration rates returned to pre-1970s levels. Our results show that paternal incarceration exacerbates child behavioral and mental health problems and that large, growing racial disparities in the risk of imprisonment have contributed to significant racial differences in child well-being. The policy implications of our work are as follows:
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Although much research has focused on how imprisonment transforms the life course of disadvantaged black men, researchers have paid little attention to how parental imprisonment alters the social experience of childhood. This article estimates the risk of parental imprisonment by age 14 for black and white children born in 1978 and 1990. This article also estimates the risk of parental imprisonment for children whose parents did not finish high school, finished high school only, or attended college. Results show the following: (1) 1 in 40 white children born in 1978 and 1 in 25 white children born in 1990 had a parent imprisoned; (2) 1 in 7 black children born in 1978 and 1 in 4 black children born in 1990 had a parent imprisoned; (3) inequality in the risk of parental imprisonment between white children of college-educated parents and all other children is growing; and (4) by age 14, 50.5% of black children born in 1990 to high school dropouts had a father imprisoned. These estimates, robustness checks, and extensions to longitudinal data indicate that parental imprisonment has emerged as a novel-and distinctively American-childhood risk that is concentrated among black children and children of low-education parents.
Article
American crime policy took an unexpected turn in the latter part of the twenty-first century, entering a new penal regime. From the 1920s to the early 1970s, the incarceration rate in the United States averaged 110 inmates per 100,000 persons. This rate of incarceration varied so little in the United States and internationally that many scholars believed the nation and the world were experiencing a stable equilibrium of punishment.1 But beginning in the mid-1970s, the U.S. incarceration rate accelerated dramatically, reaching the unprecedented rate of 197 inmates per 100,000 persons in 1990 and the previously unimaginable rate of 504 inmates per 100,000 persons in 2008.2 Incarceration in the United States is now so prevalent that it has become a normal life event for many disadvantaged young men, with some segments of the population more likely to end up in prison than attend college.3 Scholars have broadly described this national phenomenon as mass incarceration.4
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Although the share of the homeless population composed of African Americans and children has grown since at least the early 1980s, the causes of these changes remain poorly understood. This article implicates mass imprisonment in at least the second of these shifts by considering the effects of parental incarceration on child homelessness using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. These are the only data that simultaneously represent a contemporary cohort of the urban children most at risk of homelessness, establish appropriate time-order between parental incarceration and child homelessness, and control for prior housing, which is vital given the imprisonment-homelessness nexus. Results show strong effects of recent but not distal parental incarceration on the risk of child homelessness. They also show that effects are concentrated among African American children. Taken together, results suggest that mass imprisonment exacerbates marginalization among disadvantaged children, thereby contributing to a system of stratification in which the children of the prison boom become virtually invisible.
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"Stigma, shame and hardship---this is the lot shared by families whose young men have been swept into prison. Braman reveals the devastating toll mass incarceration takes on the parents, partners, and children left behind." -Katherine S. Newman "Doing Time on the Outside brings to life in a compelling way the human drama, and tragedy, of our incarceration policies. Donald Braman documents the profound economic and social consequences of the American policy of massive imprisonment of young African American males. He shows us the link between the broad-scale policy changes of recent decades and the isolation and stigma that these bring to family members who have a loved one in prison. If we want to understand fully the impact of current criminal justice policies, this book should be required reading." -Mark Mauer, Assistant Director, The Sentencing Project "Through compelling stories and thoughtful analysis, this book describes how our nation's punishment policies have caused incalculable damage to the fabric of family and community life. Anyone concerned about the future of urban America should read this book." -Jeremy Travis, The Urban Institute In the tradition of Elijah Anderson's Code of the Street and Katherine Newman's No Shame in My Game, this startling new ethnography by Donald Braman uncovers the other side of the incarceration saga: the little-told story of the effects of imprisonment on the prisoners' families. Since 1970 the incarceration rate in the United States has more than tripled, and in many cities-urban centers such as Washington, D.C.-it has increased over five-fold. Today, one out of every ten adult black men in the District is in prison and three out of every four can expect to spend some time behind bars. But the numbers don't reveal what it's like for the children, wives, and parents of prisoners, or the subtle and not-so-subtle effects mass incarceration is having on life in the inner city. Author Donald Braman shows that those doing time on the inside are having a ripple effect on the outside-reaching deep into the family and community life of urban America. Braman gives us the personal stories of what happens to the families and communities that prisoners are taken from and return to. Carefully documenting the effects of incarceration on the material and emotional lives of families, this groundbreaking ethnography reveals how criminal justice policies are furthering rather than abating the problem of social disorder. Braman also delivers a number of genuinely new arguments. Among these is the compelling assertion that incarceration is holding offenders unaccountable to victims, communities, and families. The author gives the first detailed account of incarceration's corrosive effect on social capital in the inner city and describes in poignant detail how the stigma of prison pits family and community members against one another. Drawing on a series of powerful family portraits supported by extensive empirical data, Braman shines a light on the darker side of a system that is failing the very families and communities it seeks to protect.
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Simultaneity between prisoner populations and crime rates makes it difficult to isolate the causal effect of changes in prison populations on crime. To break that simultaneity, this paper uses prison overcrowding litigation in a state as an instrument for changes in the prison population. The resulting elasticities are two to three times greater than those of previous studies. A one-prisoner reduction is associated with an increase of fifteen Index I crimes per year. While calculations of the costs of crime are inherently uncertain, it appears that the social benefits associated with crime reduction equal or exceed the social costs of incarceration for the marginal prisoner.
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This article examines the relationship between incarceration and health functioning. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, the relationship between incarceration and more than 20 different measures of health are tested. Using multiple analytic procedures, a distinctive pattern of association emerges. Individuals with a history of incarceration appear consistently more likely to be afflicted with infectious disease and other illnesses associated with stress. In contrast, no consistent relationships were observed between incarceration status and ailments unrelated to stress or infectious disease. The results suggest that exposure to infectious disease and stress are important to understanding the lasting impact of incarceration on health.
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This paper estimates effects of increases in incarceration length on employment and earnings prospects of individuals after their release from prison. I utilize a variety of research designs including controlling for observable factors and using instrumental variables for incarceration length based on randomly assigned judges with different sentencing propensities. The results show no consistent evidence of adverse labor market consequences of longer incarceration length using any of the analytical methods in either the state system in Florida or the federal system in California. (JEL: J24; K42)