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