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Home is Hard to Find: Neighborhoods, Institutions, and the Residential Trajectories of Returning Prisoners

Publication Abstract

Harding, David J., Jeffrey Morenoff, and Claire Herbert. 2013. "Home is Hard to Find: Neighborhoods, Institutions, and the Residential Trajectories of Returning Prisoners." Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 647(1): 214-236.

Poor urban communities experience high rates of incarceration and prisoner reentry. This article examines where former prisoners live after prison, focusing on returns to pre-prison social environments, residential mobility, and the role of intermediate sanctions-punishments for parole violations that are less severe than returning to prison-on where former prisoners live. Drawing on a unique dataset that uses administrative records to follow a cohort of Michigan parolees released in 2003 over time, we examine returns to pre-prison environments, both immediately after prison and in the months and years after release. We then investigate the role of intermediate sanctions in residential mobility among parolees. Our results show low rates of return to former neighborhoods and high rates of residential mobility after prison, a significant portion of which is driven by intermediate sanctions resulting from criminal justice system supervision. These results suggest that, through parole supervision, the criminal justice system generates significant residential mobility. © American Academy of Political & Social Science 2013.

DOI:10.1177/0002716213477070 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC3640590. (Pub Med Central)

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