The Neighborhood Context of Prisoner Reentry

Jeffrey D. Morenoff, University of Michigan
David Harding, University of Michigan
Amy Cooter, University of Michigan

The number of individuals incarcerated in the U.S. has risen dramatically, from 0.2% of all U.S. residents in 1980 to 0.7% in 2000. As a result, over 600,000 prisoners are released each year. Yet there has been almost no research on the residential mobility and neighborhood contexts experienced by former prisoners. We have assembled a unique data set that contains prospective longitudinal administrative records on a sample of 3,689 returning prisoners who were released on parole in Michigan in 2003. The analysis presented in this paper models the characteristics of the first neighborhood to which parolees move after release. Our preliminary results reveal striking racial disparities in the level of neighborhood disadvantage that returning parolees encounter and provide initial support for both neighborhood attainment and social capital theories of residential mobility in this population.

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Presented in Session 89: Demography of Crime and Punishment