Impact of Incarceration on Employment Prospects

Authored by: Robert Apel , Anke Ramakers

Handbook on the Consequences of Sentencing and Punishment Decisions

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  August  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138608931
eBook ISBN: 9780429466380
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9780429466380-6

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Abstract

Research on the relationship between incarceration and employment has grown in both volume and sophistication in the last 10 years. While studies differ with respect to point estimates and outcomes, there is remarkable consistency in the finding that incarceration is highly disruptive for certain aspects of the employment experience—even relative to other highly disadvantaged individuals, formerly incarcerated individuals experience a great deal of instability in the labor market. Furthermore, the “scarring effects” of incarceration have a tendency to be longstanding. Studies performed outside the United States also indicate that, even in countries with far more liberal and humane justice systems, incarceration is highly disruptive for employment prospects. In this chapter, several diverse lines of evidence are reviewed, among them, individual-level research on incarcerated individuals, as well as research on employer behavior and attitudes. The chapter closes with some modest suggestions for further advancement of research on the incarceration-employment relationship.

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