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Trajectories of Neighborhood Attainment After Prison

NCJ Number
252302
Date Published
Author(s)
Keunbok Lee, David J. Harding, Jeffrey D. Morenoff
Annotation
Motivated by a conceptualization of prisoner reentry and reintegration as a process that unfolds over time, this study examined trajectories of neighborhood environments for persons after their release from prison.
Abstract
A potentially important but understudied aspect of prisoner reentry is the neighborhood environments experienced by formerly incarcerated people. Many formerly incarcerated people return to disadvantaged neighborhood environments, and returning to disadvantaged neighborhoods after prison increases the risk of recidivism and reduces employment. Yet very little is known about the social, economic, and institutional processes that sort formerly incarcerated people into different neighborhoods after release or their trajectories of neighborhood attainment over time. Conceptualizing prisoner reentry and reintegration as a process that unfolds over time, this study examined trajectories of neighborhood environments after release from prison. Based on the literature on neighborhood attainment, social capital, and the role of criminal justice institutions in structuring the lives of former prisoners, the study examined sources of variation in neighborhood attainment. Administrative data were obtained from the Michigan Department of Corrections on formerly incarcerated people paroled in 2003 and followed for 2 years after release. Descriptive results from a latent class trajectory model show that most White and Black formerly incarcerated people experience flat trajectories, with little upward or downward residential mobility over time. Findings from multi-level growth curve models suggest that institutional factors were particularly important for the neighborhood attainment of Whites, and human capital and social ties were particularly important for Blacks. Among both Blacks and Whites, pre-prison and first post-prison neighborhood conditions had a strong association with post-prison neighborhood attainment, although these associations were larger for Blacks than Whites. (Publisher abstract modified)
Date Created: March 19, 2019