Ensnarement During Imprisonment: Re-Conceptualizing Theoretically Driven Policies to Address the Association Between Within-Prison Sanctioning and Recidivism

Ian A. Silver, Joseph L. Nedelec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research Summary: We used data collected during the Evaluation of Ohio's Prison Programs. The analytical sample of N = 63,772 inmates represents one of the largest samples used to assess the association between within-prison sanctioning and recidivism. Latent class growth analysis (LCGA) demonstrated that five guilty sanctioning clusters existed within the data: Persistent (0.72%), Very High Decline (0.11%), High Decline (1.38%), Moderate Decline (27.03%), and Abstainers (70.75%). The examination of sanctioning cluster classification on post-release recidivism suggested that greater exposure to formal sanctions during imprisonment predicted recidivism 1, 2, and 3 years post-release. Policy Implications: The outcome of the empirical analysis suggested an association between within-prison sanctioning clusters and recidivism. Furthermore, longitudinal sanctioning clusters exposed to higher levels of within-prison sanctioning possessed a greater probability of recidivism 1, 2, and 3 years post-release. If replicated, two policy implications could be derived from the contextualization of these results within the ensnarement framework. First, it is recommended that the frequency and severity of sanctions be reduced, to the extent possible, during imprisonment. Second, increased access to prosocial opportunities (e.g., rehabilitation programs) during sanctioning efforts is also encouraged based on the analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1005-1035
Number of pages31
JournalCriminology and Public Policy
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Administration
  • Law

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