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date: 13 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the broader social implications of mass incarceration and reentry. It first considers the characteristics of the communities that are most affected by high rates of incarceration and, thus, likely high rates of reentry. In particular, it cites evidence showing that the burden of incarceration and reentry is disproportionately experienced by poor, urban communities and that mass reentry may actually increase crime. It then discusses research that addressed the impact of incarceration/reentry on collective efficacy and social organization as well as public safety, noting that prison admissions/releases, the two components of coercive mobility, lead to social disorganization. That is, reentering offenders cause residential instability that makes it difficult to self-regulate and to exercise informal social control in the community. The article suggests directions for future research and practice with an eye toward a better understanding of the correlations among crime, incarceration, reentry, and community characteristics.

Keywords: mass incarceration, mass reentry, crime, social organization, public safety, prison admissions, prison releases, coercive mobility, social disorganization, social control

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