Soc 205 Week 15 Notes
Soc 205 Week 15 Notes Soc 205 002
Popular in Crime, Public Policy, and the Criminal Justice System
Popular in Sociology
Kaylee Renner MD
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Angelina Notetaker on Sunday December 6, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to Soc 205 002 at University of New Mexico taught by Maria B. Velez in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see Crime, Public Policy, and the Criminal Justice System in Sociology at University of New Mexico.
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Date Created: 12/06/15
Soc 205 Week 15 Notes Objectives Discuss predictors of mass incarceration Explanations Small part of the rise due to criminal offending o Problem is that significant gaps, especially with regard to race and social class, remain between selfreport surveys of criminal involvement and official arrest statistics o Blacks more likely to show up in official data (biased) than in victimization surveys show Ex. UCR shows that blacks make up 41 percent of aggravated assaults but in victimization data only 30 percent Police efficiency or capacity plays a small role o Probability of arrest remained stable for the past 30 years, but risk of incarceration increased significantly Much of the growth in imprisonment has instead been attributed to an influx of low level, lowrate delinquents into the prison system rather than to greater efficiency in incarcerating especially dangerous or highrate offenders So scholars argue that differential offending/involvement does not wholly explain mass incarceration… Rather, entry into prison is in part socially determined by differential exposure to police surveillance, increases in the likelihood of charges resulting in convictions, and differences in sentencing patterns and a host of other structural factors. In other words, imprisonment is less tethered to the crime rate and more a product of other social processes Example of Differential Exposure to Police Violence Beckett et al. 2005. “Drug Use, Drug Possession Arrests, and the Question of Race: lessons from Seattle.” Social Problems Part 1: Comparing the race/ethnicity of Seattle’s Drug Users and Arrestees o Table 1 o Table 2 When looking at the table we want to focus on Crack/smoked cocaine because the row about needle exchange is based on what people are “saying” they do. The row of Public Treatment shows that most Latinos are at a high percent then other races. Possession Arrestees show the equality between whites and black and who really make up the population of prisons. Key conclusions from this Study Major racial disparities in how police enforce drug laws o Focus on black and Latino users of crack cocaine especially. Disparity Mechanism of this inequality is the racialized notion of the drug problem Assumption that the drug problem is a black and Latino one This script is widespread o One study found that when asked to imagine a typical drug user, over 95 percent of survey respondents pictured an African American Explanations Much of the growth in imprisonment since the 1970s has been attributed to sentencing disparities that put African Americans and Latinos in prison for drugs crimes at higher rates than whites, despite higher white rates of substance abuse The growth in incarceration has continued unabated despite major fluctuations in criminal activity and economic performance Scholars argue that rising punishment is thus a policy choice rather than a natural response to sustained increases in crime The rapid increase in the use of the prison as a response to crime is generally understood as the result of a series of cultural and demographic, political and economic shifts There is widespread agreement that increases in the use of incarceration are “intensely political” Some argue this is part of racial project (Omi and Winant) o Race emerged as an organizing factor in society due to political actions they call racial projects. These racial projects remain ongoing, making race an unstable social category that is constantly changing. The unambiguously racial character of imprisonment in the United States is described by Loic Wacquant as wholly “extrapenological” – not driven by crime rates, but the desire to manage dispossessed and dishonored groups, just as slavery, Jim Crow segregation, and ghettos have in the recent past “Prisons thus house the jobless, the poor, the racial minority, and the uneducated, not the merely criminal.” (Wacquant) Agenda Discuss the role of mass incarceration on contributing to economic and social disadvantage Discuss the impact of incarceration on health Consequence of Mass Incarceration: Felon disenfranchisement (not able to vote) Macrosociology of Poverty under Mass Incarceration Mass incarceration represents a basic change in the character of social inequality and race relations o Significant because it is a historically specific concept Rate of incarceration markedly above the comparative and historical norm for affluent liberal democracies US considered a “class of its own” Incarceration must be so extensive and concentrated that imprisons not, just the individual but also the group Consequences of Incarceration Employment prospects o Generally work finds that on balance serving time in prison is likely to reduce employment and wages Employers reluctant to hire those with a criminal record, especially blacks Incarceration also undermines skills and social controls that provide legitimate job opportunities Western and Muller (R11)find support for this at the macro level Family Formation o Studies find that the children of incarcerated parents are likely to experience diminished wellbeing including aggressive behaviors, depressive symptoms, and reduced academic achievement o Incarceration is thought to negatively affect family formation and foster single parenthood, chiefly by undermining the marriageable pool of men in communities with high incarceration rates o Western and Muller (R11) find that this relationship is not clear at the macro level; seems to be from 1980s to mid1990s but not since then Child WellBeing o A large number of studies now find that the children of incarcerated parents are likely to experience diminished wellbeing including aggressive behaviors, depressive symptoms, and reduced academic achievement Some suggest this is especially pernicious for boys A bottom line of sorts: o High contemporary rates of incarceration, highly concentrated in poor urban communities, may yield some shortterm improvement in public safety, but at the cost of an increase in crime and inequality in the longrun Reminder of Liedka et. Al.’s idea of a tipping point Health over the Life Course Massoglia, Michael. 2008. “Incarceration, Health, and Racial Disparities in Health.” Law & Society Review 42:275306. o Research Questions Are there lasting health consequences of incarceration for midlife adults? Does the penal system contribute to racial health disparities? Link between incarceration and health o Stress Life Event Chronic o Social Status Control over life and participation in society o Life course Major adjustments Marriage Employment o Exposure to infectious disease Racial disparities o Baseline health outcomes o Incarceration Hypothesis o Chances of incarceration vary by race o Incarceration will lead to poor health later in life o Incarceration will contribute to racial disparities in health Data and Methods o National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 Respondents between 14 and 22 in 1979 o Outcome Health functioning at 40 (outcome) o Predictors Incarceration Race Finds o Incarceration assiated with poorer health Poverty status Marital status Edcation Labor force participation Mental health o Incarceration accounts for much of the blackwhite racial disparity in health Felony Disenfranchisement Historical Context Reconstruction period o Disenfranchisement laws were broad in scope Encompassed all felonies without regard to particular crime Wake of the civil rights movement o Some decrease in restrictions on felon voting rights o Dramatic increase in incarceration Increase in disenfranchised population Wide variation in state felon disenfranchisement Aspects of disenfranchisement o (1) felons who are currently incarcerated o (2) previously incarcerated felons who are under parole supervision o (3) convicted felons who never incarcerated, but were sentenced to probation o (4) former felons who have completed their sentence and no longer have any official connection with the criminal justice system Explanations for Variation Similar findings for exfelon disenfranchisement What do these Findings Mean Felony disenfranchisement rooted in the racial composition of states and their prisons o States with greater nonwhite prison populations have been more likely to ban convicted felons from voting than states with proportionately fewer nonwhites in CJ system o Racial dynamics of incarceration is a driving force Even controlling for timing, region, economic competition, partisan political power, state population composition, and state incarceration rate, a larger nonwhite prison population significantly increases the odds that more restrictive felon disenfranchisement laws will be adopted Felony Disenfranchisement Especially Pernicious for Blacks Nearly 7.5 percent of the African American votingage population is disenfranchised, constituting almost 2 million citizens Regarding men, one in seven African American men are now ineligible to vote because of a felony conviction Given regional variation, in a number of states – Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, and Virginia among them –the proportion of the African American electorate that is disenfranchised encompasses more than 15 percent of the entire state wide African American men Consequences of Disenfranchisement Uggen, Christopher and Jeff Manza. 2002. “Democratic Contraction? Political Consequences of Felon Disenfranchisement in the United States.” American Sociological Review 67:777803 o Research Question Would removing disenfranchisement restrictions change US Senate and presidential election outcomes? Hypotheses o Because felons disproportionately are racial minorities and low SES, disenfranchisement policies take more votes away from Democrats than from Republicans o Elections would be less favorable toward republicans Data o Voter Supplement File of the Current Population Survey Voter turnout o National Election Study Vote choice Demographic information Methods o Match felon population with the rest of votingage population Gender, race, age Education, income, labor force status Marital Status o Outcomes (predicted felon) voter turnout (predicted felon) Democratic Party preference o Estimated population counts Prison, felonyjail, parole, felonyprobation Exfelons Findings and Conclusions o Felon disenfranchisement laws combined with mass incarceration may have altered 7 recent US Senate elections At least one presidential election o Feedback loop – meaning that these elections influenced the creation of more punitive policies End of Week 15 notes! Important! The Final will be this Wednesday. (12/9) Week 15 Notes will be the last notes for the semester. Good Luck on Finals! Thank you for using Studysoup!