Race crime and finding work in an era of mass incarceration
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Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration . Devah Pager . Jack Spallone. About the Author . Masters Degree from Stanford University and the University of Cape Town, and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin

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Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration

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Race crime and finding work in an era of mass incarceration

Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration

Devah Pager

Jack Spallone


About the author

About the Author

  • Masters Degree from Stanford University and the University of Cape Town, and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin

  • Professor of Sociology and co-Director of the Joint Degree Program in Social Policy at Princeton University

  • Faculty Associate of the Office of Population Research and the Woodrow Wilson School

  • Focuses on institutions affecting racial stratification, including education, labor markets, and the criminal justice system


Race crime and finding work in an era of mass incarceration

Chapter 4 - The Mark of a Criminal Record

  • Her book, Marked: Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration, investigates the racial and economic consequences of large scale imprisonment for contemporary U.S. labor markets.

  • This chapter examines the effect that a criminal record has on a person after they have fulfilled court sentences for their crimes. With a particular focus on employment discretion on applicants with criminal records, this article extends it’s research to focus on the difference between employer discretion of separate races’ with criminal records.


The small five

The SmallFive

  • Topic

    • Effects of a criminal record with race for job application

  • Method

    • In-person Audit Study Experiment

  • Focus

    • Milwaukee employer prejudices on criminal records and criminal records and race

  • Target of Analysis

    • Non-degree job applicants, labor job employers, audited applicants containing criminal records

  • Goals

    • Undermine anti-discrimination laws for job applicants


Notes

Notes

  • Focuses on the initial stage of employment because this is the most likely affected by marker of a criminal record; given early on employers have little individualizing information and are thus most likely to generalize (p.61)

  • “Wisconsin has more expansive fair employment regulations than most states, including explicit protections from discrimination for individuals with criminal records.” (p.64)


Notes1

Notes

  • “roughly three-quarters of employers asked explicit questions on their application forms about the applicant’s criminal history. […] A much smaller proportion of employers (27 percent) actually performed official background checks.” (p.65)

  • Employers paid virtually no attention to references

  • Certain kinds of job were viewed as appropriate for ex-offenders – detailing the complexities of this audit study


Notes2

Notes

  • “If employers view all blacks as potential criminals, they are likely to differentiate less between those with official criminal records and those without” (p.69)

  • “stereotypes are most likely to be activated and reinforced when a target matches on more than one dimension of the stereotype.” (p.69)

  • Chances of callbacks for blacks with criminal records were reduced by 60%


Chapter conclusion

Chapter Conclusion

  • Even as the official term of punishment comes to an end, prior contact with the criminal justice system imposes lingering effects on job seekers. The finding that ex-offenders are one-half to one-third as likely as equally qualified nonoffenders to be considered by employers is clear evidence of the barriers to employment imposed by a criminal record.

  • Next: Class Discussion


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