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  1. Children of Undocumented Mexican Immigrants Have Heightened Risk of Behavior Problems

    Children of undocumented Mexican immigrants have a significantly higher risk of behavior problems than their co-ethnic counterparts with documented or naturalized citizen mothers, according to a new study.

    The difficulties come in two forms: sadness or social withdrawal — what the authors refer to as internalizing behavior problems — and issues such as aggressiveness towards others — which the authors call externalizing behavior problems.   

  2. Why Prisons Continue to Grow, Even When Crime Declines

    The U.S. prison population continued to rise even after the crime rate began declining in the mid-1990s because judges were faced with more repeat offenders, a new study suggests.

    Using data from Minnesota, an Ohio State University sociologist found that the U.S. criminal justice system felt the reverberations from the increase in violent crime and imprisonment that occurred from the 1960s to the early 1990s.

  3. Ramen Noodles Supplanting Cigarettes as Currency Among Prisoners

    Ramen noodles are supplanting the once popular cigarettes as a form of currency among state prisoners, but not in response to bans on tobacco products within prison systems, finds a new study. 

    Instead, study author Michael Gibson-Light, a doctoral candidate in the University of Arizona School of Sociology, found that inmates are trying to figure out ways to better feed themselves as certain prison services are being defunded. 

  4. Private Detention of Immigrants Deters Family Visits, Study Finds

    Immigrants detained in a privately run detention facility while awaiting deportation decisions are far less likely than those held in county or city jails to receive visits from their children, a new study finds. 

  5. Desperation and Service in the Bail Industry

    by Joshua Page, Spring 2017 Contexts

  6. Sociologists Receive ASA Funding to Study Impact of Laws Permitting Concealed Weapons on College Campuses

    If you are a student at a public college or university in Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Texas, Utah, or Wisconsin, the person sitting next to you in class may legally have a handgun under that collegiate sweatshirt he or she is wearing. In these 10 states, legislation allows students and faculty members who have concealed weapon licenses to bring their weapons, such as handguns, to campus. In 2014, bills proposing similar legislation were introduced in 14 states.

  7. Race, Class, and the Framing of Drug Epidemics

    by Rebecca Tiger in the Fall 2017 Contexts

    As America’s opiate epidemic rages on, calls for “treatment not punishment” dominate the national media. The hypocrisy of this response is not lost on a range of commentators: the reported move away from criminalization, they argue, is yet another example of racist drug policy. White people get treatment and poor people of color get punishment. Again.

  8. Review Essays: Mass Incarceration and Its Discontents

    The contours of mass incarceration are, by now, broadly familiar. The U.S. incarceration rate began an unprecedented ascent in the 1970s. This trend continued through 2007, when 760 of every 100,000 U.S. residents—nearly 1 in 100 adults—lived behind bars, five million others were on probation or parole, more than ten million were booked into jail, and nearly one in three U.S. residents had a criminal record (Kaeble and Glaze 2016, Table 4; PEW Center on the States 2008; Sabol 2014; Subramanian et al. 2016).
  9. Complicating Colorism: Race, Skin Color, and the Likelihood of Arrest

    Both conventional public beliefs and existing academic research on colorism presuppose that variation in skin color predicts social outcomes among minorities but is inconsequential among whites. The authors draw on social psychological research on stereotyping to suggest that in quick, low-information decisions such as an arrest, the opposite may be true.
  10. Paternal Incarceration and Teachers’ Expectations of Students

    In the past 40 years, paternal imprisonment has been transformed from an event affecting only the most unfortunate children to one that one in four African American children experience. Although research speculates that the stigma, strain, and separation resulting from paternal incarceration cause the poor outcomes of children of incarcerated fathers, evidence regarding these mechanisms is lacking.