Children of the Prison Boom

Children of the Prison Boom

Mass Incarceration and the Future of American Inequality

Book - 2014
Rate this:
An unrelenting prison boom, marked by stark racial disparities, pulled a disproportionate number of young black men into prison in the last forty years. In Children of the Prison Boom, Sara Wakefield and Christopher Wildeman draw upon broadly representative survey data and interviews to describe the devastating effects of America's experiment in mass incarceration on a generation of vulnerable children tied to these men. In so doing, they show that the effects of mass imprisonment may be even greater on the children left behind than on the men who were locked up.

Parental imprisonment has been transformed from an event affecting only the unluckiest of children-those with parents seriously involved in crime-to one that is remarkably common, especially for black children. This book documents how, even for children at high risk of problems, paternal incarceration makes a bad situation worse, increasing mental health and behavioral problems, infant mortality, and child homelessness. Pushing against prevailing understandings of and research on the consequences of mass incarceration for inequality among adult men, these harms to children translate into large-scale increases in racial inequalities. Parental imprisonment has become a distinctively American way of perpetuating intergenerational inequality-one that should be placed alongside a decaying public education system and concentrated disadvantage in urban centers as a factor that disproportionately touches, and disadvantages, poor black children.

More troubling, even if incarceration rates were reduced dramatically in the near future, the long-term harms of our national experiment in the mass incarceration of marginalized men are yet to be fully revealed. Optimism about current reductions in the imprisonment rate and the resilience of children must therefore be set against the backdrop of the children of the prison boom-a lost generation now coming of age.
Publisher: Oxford : Oxford University Press, [2014]
ISBN: 9780199989225
0199989222
Branch Call Number: HV8886.U5 W35 2014
Characteristics: xiv, 231 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Wildeman, Christopher James 1979-

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at BPS

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top