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Incarceration and the Community: The Problem of Removing and Returning Offenders

NCJ Number
Crime & Delinquency Volume: 47 Issue: 3 Dated: July 2001 Pages: 335-351
Date Published
July 2001
17 pages

This article examines the spatial impact of incarceration and problems associated with removing and returning offenders to communities that suffer from high rates of incarceration.


Prior research had established that the characteristics of "places" were an important aspect of public safety and local quality of life. Growth in the rates of incarceration since 1973, combined with social disparity in the experience of imprisonment among certain groups, had meant that some communities experienced concentrated levels of incarceration. This study analyzed data from a series of individual and group interviews designed to reveal the experiences and perspectives of a sample of 39 Tallahassee, Florida, residents (including ex-offenders) who lived in two high-incarceration neighborhoods. The impact of incarceration on the community can be categorized into four domains: the problem of stigma, financial impacts, issues regarding identity, and the maintenance of interpersonal relationships. The article includes policy recommendations to offset some of the unintended consequences of incarceration, and suggests research priorities for further study. References

Date Published: July 1, 2001