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criminal castes, classes, and status groups

criminal castes, classes, and status groups

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criminal castes, classes, and status groups

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  1. criminal castes, classes, and status groups Christopher Uggen, University of Minnesota [based on work with] Jeff Manza, Northwestern University Melissa Thompson, Portland State University

  2. social position of “America’s criminal class” • prisoners v. felons • numbers • collateral sanctions • stigma • conceptualization • social class • status group • caste

  3. u.s. correctional populations, 1980-2004

  4. how many? life table methodology • number exiting prison since 1920s • data improve in 1948, mid-1970s • reductions for recidivism • 66% lifetime rate for prison/parole • 57% for probation/jail • reductions for mortality • felon multiplier ≈ 1.5*(black male rate) • simplifying assumptions

  5. imprisonment criterion • current: 2.3 million prison and parole • 2% of adult males • 6.6% of black adult males • ex: 4 million ex-prison and parole • total: 6.3 million • 2.9% of adult population • 5.5% of adult males • 17% of black adult males

  6. u.s. prisoners & estimated ex-prisoners, 1948-2004

  7. u.s. prisoners and estimated ex-prisoners as percentage of adult population, 1948-2004

  8. felony criterion • current: 4.4 million current felons (prison, parole, felony probation, convicted felony jail) • 3.6% of adult males • 10% of black adult males • ex: 11.7 million ex-felons • total: 16.1 million • 7.5% of adult population • 13% of adult males • 33% of black adult males

  9. u.s. felons & estimated ex-felons, 1968-2004

  10. u.s. felons and estimated ex-felons as percent of adult population by race, 1968-2004

  11. 4 million ex-prisoners, 12 million ex-felons punishment cuts a wider swath through the life fortunes of young people today millions of former criminals live and work among us every day who are they? off-time on adult markers fewer than half ever married, received high school diploma; bare majority work full-time most convicted of non-violent offenses how many?

  12. socioeconomic occupational licensure public employment pell grants (drug) public assistance (drug) family public housing (drug) parental rights divorce civic voting juror internet record deportation collateral sanctions & life chances

  13. increasingly public stigma • access to records • arrest and misdemeanors • registries • vigilantes. michael mullen’s note to the seattle times: • "the state of washington like many states now lists sexual deviants on the net. and on most of these sites it shares with us what sexual crimes these men have been caught for ... we cannot tell the public so-and-so is 'likely' going to hurt another child, and here is his address then expect us to sit back and wait to see what child is next.“ • plates, signs, uniforms…

  14. theorizing social position • felons as caste • extreme social closure, spanning generations • marked for life – indelible • excluded from wide-ranging institutions • application to sex offenders? • addresses, photos, personal histories widely disseminated • not bound by blood or endogamous marriage

  15. prisoners and jail inmates as percentage of all in poverty, by race

  16. felons as class • (mostly) lack property • Marxian lumpenproletariat and Wilson’s underclass? • Distinctive stigma not shared by others • Excluded class (e.g., Wacquant’s meshing of ghetto and prison) • No common relationship to the economic system by virtue of conviction

  17. felons as status group • “a specific, positive or negative, social estimation of honor” • a unique negative status honor, attaching to felony conviction • Impacts standing as citizens, deference and derogation in community

  18. formal rulemaking Variation across space and time individual impacts Effects of stigma on behavior aggregate impacts Effects on communities, states, nations informal stigma Variation in status dishonor generality of desistance Malleability, not stability programmatic questions