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date: 23 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Using Robert J. Bursik and Harold G. Grasmick's re-specification of social disorganization theory as systemic theory, Dina R. Rose and Todd R. Clear showed how high levels of incarceration, concentrated in poor places, would be expected to have a “tipping point” at which the incarceration would cause crime to go up rather than down. The Rose and Clear model, later called the coercive mobility thesis, treats the removal of residents for incarceration as a major source of instability in poor neighborhoods. Rose and Clear argue that the same sorts of destabilizing and norm-weakening effects that Clifford Shaw and Henry D. McKay originally attributed to residential mobility, would also occur when the cause of the outward migration is incarceration by the state. The coercive mobility thesis assumes that the cycling of people into and out of prison constitutes an important and distinct form of mobility which can harm the communities that are hardest hit by both crime and, perhaps ironically, crime control policies.

Keywords: coercive mobility thesis, Robert J. Bursik, Harold G. Grasmick, social disorganization theory, systemic theory, Dina R. Rose, Todd R. Clear, crime, incarceration, outward migration

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