Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-77ffc5d9c7-6klxd Total loading time: 0.279 Render date: 2021-04-22T21:46:11.995Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": false, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true }

RACIAL INEQUALITIES IN CONNECTEDNESS TO IMPRISONED INDIVIDUALS IN THE UNITED STATES

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 May 2015

Hedwig Lee
Affiliation:
Department of Sociology, University of Washington
Tyler McCormick
Affiliation:
Departments of Statistics and Sociology, University of Washington
Margaret T. Hicken
Affiliation:
Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan
Christopher Wildeman
Affiliation:
Department of Policy Analysis and Management, Cornell University
Corresponding
E-mail address:

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.

Type
State of the Art
Copyright
Copyright © Hutchins Center for African and African American Research 2015 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

References

Binswanger, Ingrid, Stern, Marc, Deyo, Richard, Heagerty, Patrick, Cheadle, Allen, Elmore, Joann, and Koepsell, Thomas (2007). Release from Prison - A High Risk of Death for Former Inmates. New England Journal of Medicine, 356(2): 157165.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bobo, Lawrence D. and Thompson, Victor (2010). Racialized Mass Incarceration: Poverty, Prejudice, and Punishment. In Markus, Hazel Rose and Moya, Paula M. L. (Eds.), Doing Race: 21 Essays for the 21st Century, pp. 322355. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar
Bonczar, Thomas P. (2003). Prevalence of Imprisonment in the U.S. Population, 1974-2001 (No. NCJ 197976). Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics. <http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/prisontime.pdf> (accessed March 1, 2015).Google Scholar
Braman, Donald (2004). Doing Time on the Outside: Incarceration and Family Life in Urban America. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clear, Todd R. (2007). Imprisoning Communities: How Mass Incarceration Makes Disadvantaged Neighborhoods Worse. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clear, Todd R. (2008). The Effects of High Imprisonment Rates on Communities. Crime and Justice, 37(1): 97132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Comfort, Megan (2009). Doing Time Together: Love and Family in the Shadow of the Prison. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
DiPrete, Thomas. A., Gelman, Andreq, McCormick, Tyler, Teitler, Julien, and Zheng, Tian (2011). Segregation in Social Networks Based on Acquaintanceship and Trust. American Journal of Sociology, 116(4): 12341283.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Foster, Holly and Hagan, John (2007). Incarceration and Intergenerational Social Exclusion. Social Problems, 54(4): 399433.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Garland, David W. (2001). Mass Imprisonment: Social Causes and Consequences. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
Geller, Amanda, Cooper, Carey E., Garfinkel, Irwin, Schwartz-Soicher, Ofira, and Mincy, Ronald B. (2012). Beyond Absenteeism: Father Incarceration and Child Development. Demography, 49(1): 4976.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Geller, Amanda, and Franklin, Allyson W. (2014). Paternal Incarceration and the Housing Security of Urban Mothers. Journal of Marriage and Family, 76(2): 411427.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Glaze, Lauren E., and Herberman, Erinn J. (2013). Correctional Populations in the United States, 2012 (No. NCJ 243936). Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics. <http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cpus12.pdf> (accessed March 1, 2015).Google Scholar
Goffman, Alice (2014). On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City. Chicago, IL: University Of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gottschalk, Marie (2006). The Prison and the Gallows: The Politics of Mass Incarceration in America. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hagan, John, and Foster, Holly (2012). Intergenerational Educational Effects of Mass Imprisonment in America. Sociology of Education, 85(3): 259286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Haskins, Anna (2014). Unintended Consequences: Effects of Paternal Incarceration on Child School Readiness and Later Special Education Placement. Sociological Science, 1: 141158.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Johnson, Rucker C., and Raphael, Steven (2009). The Effects of Male Incarceration Dynamics on Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Infection Rates Among African American Women and Men. The Journal of Law and Economics, 52(2): 251293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Johnson, Rucker C., and Raphael, Steven (2012). How Much Crime Reduction Does the Marginal Prisoner Buy? Journal of Law and Economics, 55(2): 275310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kling, Jeffrey R. (2006). Incarceration Length, Employment, and Earnings. The American Economic Review, 96(3): 863876.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lee, Hedwig, and Wildeman, Christopher (2013). Things Fall Apart: Health Consequences of Mass Imprisonment for African American Women. The Review of Black Political Economy, 40(1): 3952.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lee, Hedwig, Wildeman, Christopher, Wang, Emily A., Matusko, Niki, and Jackson, James S. (2014). A Heavy Burden: The Cardiovascular Health Consequences of Having a Family Member Incarcerated. American Journal of Public Health, 104(3): 421427.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Lerman, Amy E., and Weaver, Vesla M. (2014). Arresting Citizenship: The Democratic Consequences of American Crime Control. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Levitt, Steven D. (1996). The Effect of Prison Population Size on Crime Rates: Evidence from Prison Overcrowding Litigation. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 111(2): 319352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lopoo, Leonard M., and Western, Bruce (2005). Incarceration and the Formation and Stability of Marital Unions. Journal of Marriage and Family, 67(3): 721734.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Manza, Jeff, and Uggen, Christopher (2006). Locked Out: Felon Disenfranchisement and American Democracy. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Marsden, Peter V. (1987). Core Discussion Networks of Americans. American Sociological Review, 52(1): 122131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Massoglia, Michael (2008a). Incarceration as Exposure: The Prison, Infectious Disease, and Other Stress-Related Illnesses. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 49(1): 5671.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Massoglia, Michael (2008b). Incarceration, Health, and Racial Disparities in Health. Law & Society Review, 42(2): 275306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Massoglia, Michael, Remster, Brianna, and King, Ryan D. (2011). Stigma or Separation? Understanding the Incarceration-Divorce Relationship. Social Forces, 90(1): 133155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McCormick, Tyler H., Salganik, Matthew J., and Zheng, Tian (2010). How Many People Do You Know?: Efficiently Estimating Personal Network Size. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 105(489): 5970.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
McPherson, Miller, Smith-Lovin, Lynn, and Brashears, Matthew E. (2006). Social Isolation in America: Changes in Core Discussion Networks Over Two Decades. American Sociological Review, 71(3): 353375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pettit, Becky (2012). Invisible Men: Mass Incarceration and the Myth of Black Progress. New York: Russel Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
Pettit, Becky, and Western, Bruce (2004). Mass Imprisonment and the Life Course: Race and Class Inequality in U.S. Incarceration. American Sociological Review, 69(2): 151169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pew Center on the States (2008). One in 100: Behind Bars in America 2008. Washington, DC: The Pew Charitable Trusts. <http://www.colorado.gov/ccjjdir/Resources/Resources/Ref/PEW_OneIn100.pdf> (accessed March 1, 2015).
Roberts, Dorothy E. (2004). Social and Moral Cost of Mass Incarceration in African American Communities. Stanford Law Review, 56(5): 12711305.Google Scholar
Roettger, Michael E., and Boardman, Jason D. (2012). Parental Incarceration and Gender-Based Risks for Increased Body Mass Index: Evidence From the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health in the United States. American Journal of Epidemiology, 175(7): 636644.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rose, Dina R., and Clear, Todd R. (2004). Who Doesn’t Know Someone in Jail? The Impact of Exposure to Prison on Attitudes Toward Formal and Informal Controls. The Prison Journal, 84(2): 228247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sabol, William J., and Harrison, Paige M. (2007). Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2006 (No. NCJ 217675). Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics. <http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/pjim06.pdf> (accessed March 1, 2015).Google Scholar
Sampson, Robert J., and Loeffler, Charles (2010). Punishment’s Place: The Local Concentration of Mass Incarceration. Daedalus, 139(3): 2031.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Schnittker, Jason, Massoglia, Michael, and Uggen, Christopher (2012). Out and Down: Incarceration and Psychiatric Disorders. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 53(4): 448464.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Smith, Tom W., Marsden, Peter, Hout, Michael, and Kim, Jibum (2006). General Social Surveys, 1972-2012 [machine-readable data file] /Principal Investigator, Tom W. Smith; Co-Principal Investigator, Peter V. Marsden; Co-Principal Investigator, Michael Hout; Sponsored by National Science Foundation. –NORC ed.—Chicago, IL: National Opinion Research Center [producer]; Storrs, CT: The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, University of Connecticut [distributor], 2013.
Spaulding, Anne C., Seals, Ryan M., McCallum, Victoria A., Perez, Sebastian D., Brzozowski, Amanda K., and Steenland, Kyle N. (2011). Prisoner Survival Inside and Outside of the Institution: Implications for Health-Care Planning. American Journal of Epidemiology, 173(5): 479487.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Travis, Jeremy, Western, Bruce, and Redburn, Steve (2014). The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.Google Scholar
Turney, Kristin (2014). The Consequences of Paternal Incarceration for Maternal Neglect and Harsh Parenting. Social Forces, 92(4): 16071636.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Turney, Kristin, Schnittker, Jason, and Wildeman, Christopher (2012). Those They Leave Behind: Paternal Incarceration and Maternal Instrumental Support. Journal of Marriage and Family, 74(5): 11491165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Turney, Kristin, and Wildeman, Christopher (2013). Redefining Relationships Explaining the Countervailing Consequences of Paternal Incarceration for Parenting. American Sociological Review, 78(6): 949979.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
United States Census Bureau (2007a). Table 4: Annual Estimates of the White Alone Population by Age and Sex for the United States: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2006 (NC-EST2006-04-WA). Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office.
United States Census Bureau (2007b). Table 4: Annual Estimates of the Black or African American Alone Population by Age and Sex for the United States: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2006 (NC-EST2006-04-BA). Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office.
Wacquant, Loic (2001). Deadly Symbiosis: When Ghetto and Prison Meet and Mesh. Punishment & Society, 3(1): 95133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wakefield, Sara, and Uggen, Christopher (2010). Incarceration and Stratification. Annual Review of Sociology, 36(1): 387406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wakefield, Sara, and Wildeman, Christopher (2011). Mass Imprisonment and Racial Disparities in Childhood Behavioral Problems. Criminology & Public Policy, 10(3): 793817.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wakefield, Sara, and Wildeman, Christopher (2014). Children of the Prison Boom: Mass Incarceration and the Future of American Inequality. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Wang, Emily A., Pletcher, Mark, Lin, Feng, Vittinghoff, Eric, Kertesz, Stefan, Kiefe, Catarina, and Bibbins-Domingo, Kirsten (2009). Incarceration, Incident Hypertension, and Access to Health Care: Findings From the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study. Archives of Internal Medicine, 169(7): 687693.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Weaver, Vesla M., and Lerman, Amy E. (2010). Political Consequences of the Carceral State. American Political Science Review, 104(04), 817833.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Western, Bruce (2002). The Impact of Incarceration on Wage Mobility and Inequality. American Sociological Review, 67(4): 526546.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Western, Bruce (2006). Punishment and Inequality in America. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
Western, Bruce, and Beckett, Kathrine (1999). How Unregulated Is the U.S. Labor Market? The Penal System as a Labor Market Institution. American Journal of Sociology, 104(4):10301060.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wildeman, Christopher (2009). Parental Imprisonment, the Prison Boom, and the Concentration of Childhood Disadvantage. Demography, 46(2): 265280.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wildeman, Christopher (2010). Paternal Incarceration and Children’s Physically Aggressive Behaviors: Evidence from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. Social Forces, 89(1): 285309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wildeman, Christopher (2012). Imprisonment and Infant Mortality. Social Problems, 59(2): 228257.Google Scholar
Wildeman, Christopher (2014). Parental Incarceration, Child Homelessness, and the Invisible Consequences of Mass Imprisonment. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 651(1): 7496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wildeman, Christopher, and Muller, Christopher (2012). Mass Imprisonment and Inequality in Health and Family Life. Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 8(1):1130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wildeman, Christopher, Schnittker, Jason, and Turney, Kristin (2012). Despair by Association? The Mental Health of Mothers with Children by Recently Incarcerated Fathers. American Sociological Review, 77(2): 216243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wildeman, Christopher, and Turney, Kristin (2014). Positive, Negative, or Null? The Effects of Maternal Incarceration on Children’s Behavioral Problems. Demography, 51(3): 10411068.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wildeman, Christopher, and Wakefield, Sara (2014). The Long Arm of the Law: The Concentration of Incarceration in Families in the Era of Mass Incarceration. Journal of Gender, Race, & Justice, 17(2): 367390.Google Scholar
Wildeman, Christopher, Wakefield, Sara, and Turney, Kristin (2013). Misidentifying the Effects of Parental Incarceration? A Comment on Johnson and Easterling (2012). Journal of Marriage and Family, 75(1): 252258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zheng, Tian, Salganik, Matthew, and Gelman, Andrew (2006). How Many People Do You Know in Prison? Journal of the American Statistical Association, 101(474): 409423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Full text views reflects PDF downloads, PDFs sent to Google Drive, Dropbox and Kindle and HTML full text views.

Total number of HTML views: 119
Total number of PDF views: 826 *
View data table for this chart

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 22nd April 2021. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

RACIAL INEQUALITIES IN CONNECTEDNESS TO IMPRISONED INDIVIDUALS IN THE UNITED STATES
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

RACIAL INEQUALITIES IN CONNECTEDNESS TO IMPRISONED INDIVIDUALS IN THE UNITED STATES
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

RACIAL INEQUALITIES IN CONNECTEDNESS TO IMPRISONED INDIVIDUALS IN THE UNITED STATES
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *