Tag Archives: regional differences in incarceration rates

1 in 2 U.S. adults has had a family member incarcerated

FWD.us calls itself “a bipartisan” political organization, founded by technology and business “leaders,” which believes that America’s “broken immigration and criminal justice systems have locked too many people out from the American dream”.

According to Wikipedia:

FWD.us is a 501(c)(4) lobbying group . . . that aims to lobby and advocate for its version of immigration reform, changes to the US education system to improve science and technology education, and the facilitation of scientific breakthroughs with broad public benefits. It is primarily supported and funded by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.

The initiative is led by principal Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Its founding president was Joe Green, a close friend and confidant of Zuckerberg. The group aims to build a bipartisan consensus around its proposed policies, however it has garnered criticism for its tactics in pursuing these goals.

FWD.us recently published a 55-page report titled, Every Second: The Impact of the Incarceration Crisis on America’s Families, based on research conducted by a team of social scientists led by Cornell University professor Christopher Wildeman.

Methodology: In the summer of 2018, FWD.us partnered with a research team based out of Cornell University to conduct an online and phone (in English and Spanish) survey of a nationally representative sample of 4,041 adults age 18 or older.

Below are the findings:

  • On any given day, there are more than 1.5 million people behind bars in state or federal prisons in the United States.
  • 45% of all U.S. adults — about 1 in 2 adults or 113 million people — have had an immediate family member incarcerated for at least one night in jail or prison.
  • 1 in 7 adults has had an immediate family member incarcerated for at least one year.
  • 1 in 34 adults has had an immediate family member spend 10 years or longer in prison.
  • Today, an estimated 6.5 million people (1 in 38) have an immediate family member currently incarcerated in jail or prison.
  • Family relationship:
    • 1 in 4 adults (27.5%) has had a sibling incarcerated.
    • 1 in 5 (18.4%) has had a parent incarcerated.
    • 1 in 7 (13.5%) has had a spouse or co-parent incarcerated.
    • 1 in 8 (12.2%) has had a child incarcerated.
  • Political party:
    • 48% of Independents vs. 45% Democrats vs. 43% Republicans have had an immediate family member incarcerated.
  • Race:
    • 63% of Native-Americans, 63% of Blacks, 48% of Latinos, and 42% of Whites have had an immediate family member spend at least one night in jail.
    • Black adults are 50% more likely than whites (63% vs. 42%) to have had an immediate family member incarcerated, and three times more likely to have had an immediate family member incarcerated for one year or longer (31% vs. 10%).
    • Latino adults are 70% more likely than whites (17% vs. 10%) to have had an immediate family member incarcerated for longer than one year.
  • Income:
    • People earning less than $25,000 per year are
      61% more likely than people earning more than $100,000 (53% vs. 33%) to have had a family member incarcerated, and three times more likely (24% vs. 8%) to have had a family member incarcerated for one year or longer.
  • Gender:
    • Men are more likely to be incarcerated: 90% of adults in jail or prison are males.
    • 48% of women vs. 42% of men have had a family member incarcerated.
  • Region: Percentage of adults who have had an immediate family member incarcerated for one night:
    • 49% in the South
    • 49% in the West
    • 45% in the Midwest
    • 31% in the Northeast
  • Effects on women of having a family member incarcerated:
    • 63% of women have had their physical health affected.
    • 32% of women lost their household’s primary source of income.
    • 35% of women became homeless or experienced housing insecurity.
    • 70% of women became their family’s sole wage earner.
  • Effects on family of having a family member incarcerated:
    • Male incarceration is strongly correlated with a lower likelihood of marriage and higher rates of divorce and separation.
    • Incarceration is far more likely to sever family ties than to strengthen them, and has a particularly negative impact on the emotional support systems, living arrangements, and parental custody of children.
    • For families with children, incarceration can also result in permanent family separation due to the 1997 Adoption and Safe Families Act (AFSA),which requires that states terminate parental rights if a child has been in foster care for 15 of the previous 22 months.
    • Increases in female incarceration rates explain 40% of the increase in foster care caseloads, which more than doubled between 1985 and 2000.

~Eowyn

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