Incarceration and Social Inequality
DOI link for Incarceration and Social Inequality
Incarceration and Social Inequality book
America's prisons and jails have produced a new social group, a group of social outcasts who are joined by the shared experience of incarceration, crime, poverty, racial minority, and low education. The social inequality produced by mass incarceration is sizable and enduring for three main reasons: it is invisible, it is cumulative, and it is intergenerational. The social impact of mass incarceration lies in the gross asymmetry of community and family attachment. Class inequalities in incarceration are reflected in the very low educational level of those in prison and jail. The significant growth of incarceration rates among the least educated reflects increasing class inequality in incarceration through the period of the prison boom. The redrawing of American social inequality by mass incarceration amounts to a contraction of citizenship—a contraction of that population that enjoys, in T. H. Marshall's words, "full membership in society". The demographic concentration of incarceration accompanies spatial concentration.