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Matthew T. Mangino: The unintended consequences of mass incarceration

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America leads the world in incarceration with roughly 2.2 million people currently in prisons and jails nationwide - a 500% increase over the last 40 years.

Nearly two-thirds of those in prison are people of color. In fact, black men are six times more likely to be incarcerated as white men. There is a one in three chance that a black man born in 2001 will end up incarcerated during his lifetime, according to the Sentencing Project.

An increasing concern is the number of women incarcerated. Since 1980 the number of women incarcerated has jumped by more 750%.

The impact on those incarcerated is obvious. However, the impact of incarceration reverberates beyond prison walls. Kristin Turney, a University of California-Irvine sociologist wrote that the impact on children of incarcerated parents is “an overlooked and unintended consequence of mass incarceration.”

Turney’s research in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior compared children under age 18 with similar socioeconomic characteristics and family backgrounds and found that having a parent in prison or........

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