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Collateral Costs of Short-Term Jail Incarceration: The Long-Term Social and Economic Disruptions

NCJ Number
Corrections Management Quarterly Volume: 5 Issue: 4 Dated: Fall 2001 Pages: 64-69
Mark Pogrebin; Mary Dodge; Paul Katsampes
Date Published
6 pages
This article examines the collateral costs of short-term incarceration.
The article addresses the need for a research agenda that further explores the collateral costs associated with short-term incarceration. Since the late 1970's, researchers have examined overcrowding, pretrial detainees, legal liabilities, and facility administration. A neglected area of study is the disruption of social ties associated with jail time. Inmates' families experience stress because of being separated from a loved one and the emotional burden of knowing that someone they care about did something wrong. In addition, families may be required to care for inmates' children or handle a loved one's personal business. Having the major provider absent from the family often leads to reliance on the extended family or on a welfare subsistence program. Many of the external circumstances related to family, community, and employment responsibilities may have a substantial impact on inmates' reintegration and recidivism. Alternatives to short-term jail sentences for misdemeanor offenders include community work and educational programs, day fines, victim restitution, citations rather than jail sentences for more types of offenders, and more work-release programs for jail inmates. References