Unemployment and incarceration



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This thesis is a study of the relationship, over time, between unemployment and prison incarceration rates. The basic hypothesis is that during periods of high unemployment the rate of incarcerating men increases and during periods of low unemployment incarceration rates decrease. Analysis of labor and prisoner statistics indicates that there is a strong positive relationship between unemployment and incarceration in the United states. This relationship has been stable and predictable since the end of the Great Depression. Detailed data dating from 1948 allows for the analysis and identification of non-tvhite males as the subgroup of the population most sensitive to economic change and incarceration. Analysis of incarceration trends in the State of Texas for the years 1950 through 1972 reveals increasing incarceration rates and a steadily increasing disproportion of Negro prisoners. The findings of this study establish economic conditions as a primary factor in crime and punishment.



Unemployment, Incarceration