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					            criminal castes, classes, and
                                status groups


   Christopher Uggen, University of Minnesota

   [based on work with]
   Jeff Manza, Northwestern University
   Melissa Thompson, Portland State University


6/13/2012                                        1
      social position of “America’s criminal class”


  • prisoners v. felons
       – numbers
  • collateral sanctions
       – stigma
  • conceptualization
       – social class
       – status group
       – caste

6/13/2012                                         2
                          u.s. correctional populations, 1980-2004

7,000,000


6,000,000


5,000,000

                                                                                                Parole
4,000,000
                                                                                                Prison

3,000,000                                                                                        Jail



2,000,000

                                                                                          Probation
1,000,000


       0
            1980

                   1981

                          1982

                                 1983

                                        1984

                                               1985

                                                      1986

                                                             1987

                                                                    1988

                                                                           1989

                                                                                  1990

                                                                                         1991

                                                                                                 1992

                                                                                                        1993

                                                                                                               1994

                                                                                                                      1995

                                                                                                                             1996

                                                                                                                                    1997

                                                                                                                                           1998

                                                                                                                                                  1999

                                                                                                                                                         2000

                                                                                                                                                                2001

                                                                                                                                                                       2002

                                                                                                                                                                              2003

                                                                                                                                                                                     2004
    6/13/2012                                                       Probation              Jail         Prison           Parole                                                3
             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
6/13/2012                                        4
              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



6/13/2012                                  5
u.s. prisoners & estimated ex-prisoners, 1948-2004

                                 7,000,000



                                 6,000,000
Prisoners and Former Prisoners




                                 5,000,000



                                 4,000,000



                                 3,000,000



                                 2,000,000



                                 1,000,000



                                      -
                                             1948
                                                    1950
                                                           1952
                                                                  1954
                                                                         1956
                                                                                1958
                                                                                       1960
                                                                                              1962
                                                                                                     1964
                                                                                                            1966
                                                                                                                   1968
                                                                                                                          1970
                                                                                                                                 1972
                                                                                                                                        1974
                                                                                                                                               1976
                                                                                                                                                      1978
                                                                                                                                                             1980
                                                                                                                                                                    1982
                                                                                                                                                                           1984
                                                                                                                                                                                  1986
                                                                                                                                                                                         1988
                                                                                                                                                                                                1990
                                                                                                                                                                                                       1992
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1994
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1996
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1998
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   2000
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2002
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 2004
                                 6/13/2012                                                                                                                                                                                                6
                                                                                                     Ex-Prisoners                Current Prisoners
                                       u.s. prisoners and estimated ex-prisoners as
                                              percentage of adult population, 1948-2004
                                 12%



                                 10%
Percentage of Adult Population




                                 8%




                                 6%



                                 4%



                                 2%



                                 0%
                                       1948
                                              1950
                                                     1952
                                                            1954
                                                                   1956
                                                                          1958
                                                                                 1960
                                                                                        1962
                                                                                               1964
                                                                                                      1966
                                                                                                             1968
                                                                                                                    1970
                                                                                                                           1972
                                                                                                                                  1974
                                                                                                                                         1976
                                                                                                                                                1978
                                                                                                                                                       1980
                                                                                                                                                              1982
                                                                                                                                                                     1984
                                                                                                                                                                            1986
                                                                                                                                                                                   1988
                                                                                                                                                                                          1990
                                                                                                                                                                                                 1992
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1994
                                                                                                                                                                                                               1996
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1998
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             2000
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2002
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           2004
                                 6/13/2012                                                Total Black Prisoners                                 Total Non-Black Prisoners                                                           7
                          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

6/13/2012                                        8
                          u.s. felons & estimated ex-felons, 1968-2004
                       18,000,000


                       16,000,000


                       14,000,000
Felons and Ex-Felons




                       12,000,000


                       10,000,000


                        8,000,000


                        6,000,000


                        4,000,000


                        2,000,000


                             -
                                    1968

                                           1970

                                                  1972

                                                         1974

                                                                1976

                                                                       1978

                                                                              1980

                                                                                     1982

                                                                                            1984

                                                                                                   1986

                                                                                                          1988

                                                                                                                 1990

                                                                                                                        1992

                                                                                                                               1994

                                                                                                                                      1996

                                                                                                                                             1998

                                                                                                                                                    2000

                                                                                                                                                           2002

                                                                                                                                                                      2004
                       6/13/2012                                       Ex-Felons        Current Felons
                                                                                                                                                                  9
                                  u.s. felons and estimated ex-felons as percent
                                                     of adult population by race, 1968-2004
                                 25%
Percentage of Adult Population




                                 20%


                                 15%


                                 10%


                                 5%


                                 0%
                                       1968

                                              1970

                                                     1972

                                                            1974

                                                                   1976

                                                                          1978

                                                                                 1980

                                                                                        1982

                                                                                               1984

                                                                                                      1986

                                                                                                              1988

                                                                                                                     1990

                                                                                                                            1992

                                                                                                                                   1994

                                                                                                                                          1996

                                                                                                                                                 1998

                                                                                                                                                        2000

                                                                                                                                                               2002

                                                                                                                                                                      2004
                                                                      Total Black Felons                     Total Non-Black Felons
                                 6/13/2012                                                                                                                     10
                                            how many?

  • 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

6/13/2012                                                    11
  collateral sanctions & life chances
  • socioeconomic
       –    occupational licensure
       –    public employment
       –    pell grants (drug)
       –    public assistance (drug)
  • family
       – public housing (drug)
       – parental rights
       – divorce
  • civic
       –    voting
       –    juror
       –    internet record
       –    deportation

6/13/2012                              12
               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…

6/13/2012                                                           13
                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
6/13/2012                                                14
 prisoners and jail inmates as percentage of all
                             in poverty, by race
14%


12%


10%


8%


6%


4%


2%


0%
      1     3   5   7      9    11   13    15   17    19    21   23       25   27   29

                        % of Black Poor that are Prison or Jail Inmates
6/13/2012                                                                                15
                        % of Nonblack Poor that are Inmates
                                  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
6/13/2012                                               16
              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


6/13/2012                               17
                   programmatic questions

  1. formal rulemaking
       – Variation across space and time
  2. individual impacts
       – Effects of stigma on behavior
  3. aggregate impacts
       – Effects on communities, states, nations
  4. informal stigma
       – Variation in status dishonor
  5. generality of desistance
       – Malleability, not stability
6/13/2012                                          18
Domain          Examples                             States
Employment      Right to employment; public          29 states permit employers to consider
                employment; occupational licensure   arrests that never led to conviction.

Financial Aid Eligibility for student grants and     50 states restrict for those convicted of
              loans                                  drug related offenses.

Firearm         Right to possess firearms            43 states have firearms, pistol, or
Ownership                                            handgun restrictions.

Immigration     Residence in United States.          Resident aliens may be deported in all
Status                                               states.

Jury Service    Right to serve on juries.            47 states restrict right to serve on jury.

Marital         Allow criminal conviction as a       29 states consider criminal conviction as
Dissolution     ground for divorce.                  grounds for marital dissolution.

Parental        Termination of parental rights;      48 states allow for termination of parental
Rights          restrictions on becoming an          rights for some offenses. 15 bar felons
                adoptive or foster parent.           from becoming adoptive or foster parents.

Privacy         Registration and community           50 states mandate criminal registration of
                notification for sex offenders       sex offenders.

Public          Receipt of food stamps; Temporary    17 states permanently deny benefits for
Assistance      Assistance for Needy Families.       those convicted of drug felonies.

Public          Right to reside in public housing.   47 states permit individualized
Housing                                              determinations; 3 states have broad bans.

Public Office   Right to hold public office.         40 states restrict the right to hold office.
   6/13/2012                                                                                 19
Voting          Right to vote.                       48 states deny the right to prisoners

				
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