How Mass Incarceration Inhibits Wealth for Justice-Involved Individuals and Destroys the Economy
Date:  04-29-2016

Two reports reveal how mass incarceration negatively affects the lives of individuals and the nation itself
From Prison Policy Initiative

The Crippling Effect of Mass Incarceration on the Economy

The wealth disparity between young men who experience prison and those who never do is staggering. A fascinating study in Race and Social Problems makes this clear. The authors Khaing Zaw, Darrick Hamilton, and William Darity Jr. use the National Longitudinal Study of Youth to collect the personal wealth of a group of young men, following them for 27 years. When the young men are divided into two groups: those who experience incarceration at some point in their lives and those who never do, a striking disparity emerges. Once an individual is incarcerated, they often lose what little wealth they have and are left with little to no wealth accumulation. Once released, that individual may make gains in wealth accumulation, but they will always remain at significantly lower levels of wealth compared to those who are never incarcerated in their lifetime. Read more

From the Brennan Center for Justice

Top Economists at White House Explain How Mass Incarceration Hurts the Economy

America’s out-of-control system of mass incarceration is a tremendous drain on our nation’s economy — but there are several cost-effective ways to reduce crime and incarceration rates, members of the Brennan Center's Economic Advisory Board said at a White House event Monday.

The discussion was held in collaboration with the White House, the Economic Advisory Board of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, and the American Enterprise Institute. To read more about the discussion and to watch a video of the proceedings click here.