Hattery, A., & Smith, E. (2014). Families of incarcerated African American men: the impact on mothers and children. Journal of Pan African Studies. 7, 6, 128-153.
In the article, Hattery and Smith analyze the impacts of collateral damage of incarceration on the loved ones of the imprisoned African American men. The research is founded on the growing body of research that shows that African American men as compared to other races are currently imprisoned at an increased rate than they were two decades ago. The authors focus on the structural implication of incarceration as opposed to previous studies that paid more attention to the consequences on the individual. The data for the study is sourced from two previously done studies by the same authors that evaluated the effects of incarceration and IPV on black's families. Data was collected from the participants through semi-structured interviews that reflected in the life histories. Other additional data for the study were obtained from Bureau of Justice statistics and the United States census. Based on the findings, children suffer from the stigma of having to live without a father at home, and is often associated with behavioral problems. The authors add that the real tragedy of the family separation is that the likelihood of the children of imprisoned African American father ending up being incarcerated after surpassing the age of 18 is very high.
Additionally, the authors also mention that incarceration disrupts marriages that mostly end up in divorce, as imprisonment is resource intensive, forcing the other spouse to care for the family single-handedly. As the authors mentioned, almost half of the incarcerated individuals are African Americans. Thus more black families experience the real impacts of incarceration as compared to other races. In general, the article offers comprehensive insights into the implication of African American men incarceration on their families, where the authors draw evidence from previous studies to support their argument. However, the article tends to underscore the importance of punishing criminal offenders for the safety of the public.
Steinmetz, K. F., & Henderson, H. (2016). Inequality on probation: An examination of differential probation outcomes. Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice, 14(1), 1-20.
Steinmetz and Henderson conducted a study utilizing 115,384 randomly-selected adult probationers to determine the impact of offense type, location, gender, race, and evaluation scores on the outcomes of probation. The research addressed the inequity in probation by focusing on comprehending how various forms of social stratification, particularly gender and race contribute to different results of probation; early discharge, adjudication, and expiration. The participants of the study consisted of 41.1% Caucasian, 40.3% blacks, and 18.5% Hispanic. The authors used multinomial/polytomous regression modeling to analyze the study sample based on the probation outcome, assessment scores, probationary offense type, location, gender, and race. Central to the analysis was the race and gender. The findings of the results showed that being black was associated with adjudication, early discharge, and revocation while being Hispanic was only linked to early release and revocation. Besides, the authors also reported that the probability of African-American to be accorded adverse probation outcomes (adjudication and revocation) was higher and were less likely to be released from probation early in comparison to the whites. The authors also noted that the racialized reality was more intensified in consideration to gender. According to the authors, the African-American men are generally perceived as criminals in the society, thereby affecting their probational outcomes. The limitation of the research worth mentioning is the over-representation bias of the African-Americans in the study (40%) as compared to the actual general population which they represent only 11% of the Americans. Overall, the significant findings of the study are consistent with previous research. The authors confirmed that indeed racial and gender discrepancies are fundamental determinants of probation's outcomes by drawing on the practical and appropriate evidence to support their argument.
Uggen, C., & Stewart, R. (2014). Piling on: Collateral consequences and community supervision. Minn. L. Rev., 99, 1871.
Uggen's and Stewart's article clearly articulates how criminal justice punishment impacts the lives of the individuals completing their criminal penalty in their home community. The authors go ahead and argue that even though informal and legal restrictions are distinct from one another, people experience them as intertwined problems. In demonstrating that some collateral sanctions are experienced in terms of pilling on, thereby jeopardizing public safety instead of enhancing it, the authors compiled a range of pieces of evidence to support their argument. Part I of the article comprehensively enumerates the consequences of being involved with the criminal justice system and how they impact on the individuals being supervised in terms of social integration, education, and employment. The authors then suggest some of the proposals that policymakers can consider in differentiating essential collateral consequences from the ones that bring more harm than good. The authors also note that racial disparity plays a critical role in determining whether a criminal offender will serve a jail sentence or participate in community supervision. For example, according to the authors, most African American criminal offenders are mostly punished through jail sentence, with very few lucky ones serving their punishment through community supervision. Although the article offers insight on the negative impacts of the collateral restrictions on the non-incarcerated individuals, the article undervalued the costs and overstated the beneficial side of the larger picture of the implementation of collateral sanctions. Nonetheless, the report is well-organized with relevant diagrams and comprehensive information that offers a glimpse into the collateral consequences and community supervision.
Visher, C., & O'Connell, D. (2012). Incarceration and Inmates' self-perceptions about returning home. Journal of Criminal Justice, 40(5), 386-393.
Visher's and O'Connell's article on the incarceration and inmates' self-perceptions after finally returning home after serving their criminal sentence. In doing this, the authors examine the implication of imprisonment on reoffending by suggesting on the emphasis on the probable individual-level techniques that directly affects how prisoners perceive life after prison. According to authors, understanding experiences of the prison life and how they contribute to offending patterns is essential in determining the success of reentry into the community after incarceration. The data of the study were derived from the interviews and self-report survey from 800 males and females getting ready to leave the prison. The authors applied regression and descriptive methods to analyze the data. The findings of the study demonstrated that a combination of situational factors that determine offender's post-incarceration optimism are family relationship and family situations during imprisonment. The research showed that prisoners with strong family ties as well as those having children were more optimistic about life after prison. The authors concluded that strong family support, having children, and in-prison drug abuse treatment increase optimism, while negative family impact, history of extreme drug abuse, and prolonged imprisonment times tend to reduce optimism about life after prison. Central to this study was also the incidence of drug abuse among different races in the United States. Based on statistics, most African-American men are victims of drug abuse, making them a target for the criminal justice process. In general, the authors did a good job in exploring various factors that affect an individual's optimism about life after prison, supporting their arguments with facts from the sample collected. However, there is inadequate information about how internal factors of prison life affects reentry into the community after incarceration.
Visher, C. A., & Travis, J. (2011). Life on the outside: Returning home after incarceration. The Prison Journal, 91(3_suppl), 102S-119S.
The authors state the problem of re-entry into the community after serving a jail term as an issue of concern as it is associated with several challenges. According to the authors, successful re-integration into the society requires comprehensive services and strong support from the community, which are lacking. The demands make the process of reentry quite a challenge as illustrated by the two stories narrated by the authors. The article aims to offer insight into various strategies that can be implemented to ensure successful reentry of the former prisoners into the community, based on evidence from multiple pieces of research conducted in the past decade. It comprises of the findings from the multisite study conducted in the US that enumerated the personal experiences from the individuals as they return to their families after incarceration.
Additionally, the authors present the results of the extensive interviews with former prisoners on how their lives have been during the one year they have spent out of prison. Based on the findings, the authors derived the information about the characteristics and needs of the prisoners returning home, understanding the challenges they face while returning home, and what can be done to ensure successful reentry. The authors also mention how racial injustices play a significant role in determining the kind of punishment for the criminal offenders. According to the authors, 90% of those imprisoned come from low-income communities, which mainly constitutes African-Americans. Even though the article is well organized and provides comprehensive information on measures to consider in improving community reentry of ex-prisoners, it does not clearly explain the role of the ex-prisoners in achieving the same.
Wooldredge, J. (2012). Distinguishing race effects on pre-trial release and sentencing decisions. Justice Quarterly, 29(1), 41-75.
According to Wooldridge, even though racial disparities in judicial justice process might have demonstrated some form prejudices, such biases can also result from differences in racial groups as well as a measure to prevent the likelihood of the repetition of the same crime by the defendant. The author also argues that based on the statistics, the analyses of the effect of interaction showed that African-Americans youths of ages between 18-29 years face a lower probability of release on one's recognizance (ROR), higher likelihood of imprisonment, and higher charges on bonds, as compared to other races in the United States. The author clearly describes how these findings of the previous studies are relevant to understanding the racial disparities in various stages of case processing. According to Wooldridge, the direct impacts of criminal offender's case on the severity of the sentence are sometimes inflated, undervaluing legally relevant factors. The author argues his point by pointing out to different scholars who have researched the correlation between race and the severity, with the majority reporting the insignificant effect of race on sentencing. Instead, Woodlands claim that financial stability of the defendant is more relevant as compared to race as far as sentencing disparities are concerned as it determines eligibility for ROR or sentencing through bond amounts. The author then goes ahead to conduct a study where data was derived...
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