2008 Wis. L. Rev. 1049 (2008)
Is Prison Increasing Crime

handle is hein.journals/wlr2008 and id is 1061 raw text is: IS PRISON INCREASING CRIME?

MARTIN H. PRITIKIN*
Scholars have identified various ways in which incarceration may
unintentionally cause crime. What the literature lacks, however, is an
attempt to catalog all of the crime-causing, or criminogenic, effects of
incarceration, and estimate their aggregate impact. This Article makes an
initial attempt to do just that. Drawing inferences from existing data, the
Article estimates that as of roughly a decade ago, incarceration practices
were driving up crime rates by at least 7 percent, and were preventing as
little as 13 percent of would-be crime. However, given trends since then,
we may now be at or near a tipping point where prison is causing a net
increase in crime. The implications of this phenomenon are also addressed.
Introduction   .................................................................. 1050
I.   Cataloging the Criminogenic Effects of Incarceration ........ 1054
A.   The Experience of Incarceration ............................ 1054
1. Prison as a School for Criminals .................... 1054
2. Severance of Ties to Family and Community ........ 1055
3. Brutalization Effect of Prisons .......................... 1056
4. Overcrowding ............................................. 1058
5. Solitary Confinement ..................................... 1059
6.  R eactance    .................................................. 1059
B.   Postincarceration Consequences ............................ 1060
1.  L abeling  .................................................... 1060
2. Diminished Employment Opportunities ............... 1061
3. Denial of Benefits and Other Social Programs ....... 1063
4. Restrictions on Political Rights ......................... 1064
C.   Third-Party Effects ............................................ 1064
1. Exposure Effects .......................................... 1064
2. Effects on Families of Offenders ....................... 1065
3. Effects on Communities .................................. 1067
4. Effects of Racial Disparities ............................. 1069
5. Effects on Criminal Markets ............................ 1070
6. Loss of Stigma for Criminal Subcultures .............. 1072
7. Delegitimization of Law         ................................. 1073
II.  How    Much Crime Does Prison Cause? ......................... 1074
A.   Delineating the Inquiry ....................................... 1074
B.   Estimating the Impact of Punishment on Crime .......... 1075
*      Associate Professor of Law, Whittier Law       School. JD, Harvard Law
School, 2000; BA, University of Southern California, 1997. The author would like to
thank Kimberly Olson for her research assistance and Rina for everything.

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