U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Racial Inequality in the Transition to Adulthood After Prison

NCJ Number
Rsf-the Russell Sage Journal of the Social Sciences Volume: 5 Issue: 1 Dated: 2019 Pages: 223-254
Date Published
32 pages
This study examined explanations for racial inequalities in outcomes in the community for men after their release from incarceration.

That formerly incarcerated Black men experience poor life-course outcomes compared to other subpopulations is well established; yet the authors' ongoing research indicates substantial racial inequality in outcomes among the formerly incarcerated. Young, Black former prisoners lag behind their White counterparts in achieving traditional adulthood markers of education, employment, and residential independence. The current study used longitudinal administrative data on a cohort of male parolees age 18 to 25. The study found that early post-prison experiences and social context explained some variation. Considerable racial inequality persisted, however, even after controlling for pre- and post-prison life-course conditions, criminal justice contact, and social context. This finding is discussed in relation to estimates of discrimination, stigma, and social networks not observable in the study data. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2019