Collateral Costs

Incarceration's Effect on Economic Mobility

Quick summary

Collateral Costs: Incarceration's Effect on Economic Mobility was a collaborative effort between the Pew Charitable Trusts' Economic Mobility Project and its Public Safety Performance Project (PSPP) The 2010 report examined the impact of incarceration on the economic opportunity and mobility of former inmates and their families.

In addition, Collateral Costs examined the prison population by race/ethnicity and educational levels. It found that incarceration reduces former inmates' earnings by 40 percent and limits their future economic mobility. It also found that one in every 28 children in the U.S. has a parent behind bars, up from one in 125 just 25 years ago. 

The report's findings were based on research by Professor Bruce Western of Harvard University and Professor Becky Pettit of the University of Washington.

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