Community Context and Mass Incarceration

The increase in incarceration rates from 1970 to 2010 in the United States has catalyzed research to better understand why individuals commit crimes and why they return back to prison after release (recidivate). There is clear evidence of a social concentration of incarceration among four axes: socioeconomic status, gender, age, and race. Incarceration disproportionately impacts particular segments of the general population. Those involved with the criminal justice system are overwhelmingly male, African American, younger adults, and high-school dropouts. Emerging evidence substantiates a fifth axis of concentration: place. Apart from the social and demographic trends of incarceration, there is a certain geospatial concentration of incarceration. Multiple empirical studies have determined that the majority of state correctional populations come from a handful of communities. The purpose of ...

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