Nancy Rodriguez and Jillian J. Turanovic
This essay describes the implications of confinement for offenders’ families (both children and spouses) and for their communities, including coercive mobility, weakened social controls, family disruption, and stigmatization. The pros and cons of removing criminal fathers are discussed, focusing on possible differences in the implications of removing criminal fathers versus criminal mothers. The dramatically higher incarceration rates of black men from the most disadvantaged urban neighborhoods relative to any other demographic subgroup is discussed in the context of possible implications for the social and economic environments of poor neighborhoods. An overview of the debate on whether these higher incarceration rates actually reduce crime is also offered, including possible implications for a deterrent effect on crime (or a lack thereof). The need for research on the collateral consequences of incarceration for Latino families and communities is highlighted, given that Latinos represent the fastest growing segment of the US correctional population.