Parental Incarceration and Adult Criminal Justice Involvement among Black, White, and Hispanic Males in the U.S.

Mike Roettger, University of Colorado at Boulder
Raymond R. Swisher, Bowling Green State University

In the last four decades, the U.S. incarcerated population has increased by over 900%. Accompanying this increase has been a dramatic rise in the number of Americans who report a parent who has served time in jail or prison. Due to lack of nationally representative data, almost no studies have examined the relationship between parental imprisonment and adult criminal justice involvement in the contemporary U.S. Using data from Wave IV interviews of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, this study examine how mother and father's imprisonment is associated with respondent's criminal justice involvement. Using event history analysis, we examine if these associations are robust to a number of controls, while testing for variation by (1) respondent's race and ethnic status and (2) timing of parental incarceration in the respondent's lifecourse. We find parental incarceration substantially increases a respondent's risk for arrest and incarceration through their early 30s.

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Presented in Session 86: Demography of Punishment