Monday, February 24, 2014

Citizenship on lockdown

"Leman and her co-author, Yale political scientist Vesla Weaver, advance the argument in a forthcoming book, Arresting Citizenship: The Democratic Consequences of American Crime Control. In it, as well as in a 2010 paper in the American Political Science Review, Lerman and Weaver analyze longitudinal survey data of more than 25,000 people. Based on one data set, they found that the probability of voting declined by 8 percent for respondents who had been stopped and questioned by the police, 16 percent for those with an arrest, 18 percent for those with a conviction, and 26 percent for those who had served a year or more in prison. (These figures did not include those who were ineligible to vote.)

The analysis controlled for a variety of factors, including income, education and race. “The effect of being incarcerated or imprisoned is larger in size than having a college-educated parent, being in the military, receiving welfare, and being black,” the authors concluded."

(In another study) "if supervision were 50 percent less likely to vote than in neighborhoods with no residents enmeshed in the criminal justice system. Burch also observed a 38 percent decline in other kinds of political activity."

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