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Is Prison Increasing Crime?

Martin H. Pritikin

Whittier Law School

Wisconsin Law Review, Vol. 2008, p. 1049, 2008
Whittier Law School Research Paper No. 09-03

Scholars have identified various ways in which incarceration may unintentionally cause crime. What the literature lacks, however, is an attempt to catalog all of the crime-causing, or "criminogenic," effects of incarceration, and estimate their aggregate impact. This Article makes an initial attempt to do just that. Drawing inferences from existing data, the Article estimates that as of roughly a decade ago, incarceration practices were driving up crime rates by at least 7 percent, and were preventing as little as 13 percent of would-be-crime. However, given trends since then, we may now be at or near a tipping point where prison is causing a net increase in crime. The implications of this phenomenon are also addressed.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 60

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Date posted: March 14, 2009 ; Last revised: July 17, 2012

Suggested Citation

Pritikin, Martin H., Is Prison Increasing Crime?. Wisconsin Law Review, Vol. 2008, p. 1049, 2008; Whittier Law School Research Paper No. 09-03. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1357743

Contact Information

Martin H. Pritikin (Contact Author)
Whittier Law School ( email )
3333 Harbor Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
United States
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