This paper links the rise of a punitive punishment regime that disproportionately targets poor, urban minorities and the increasing use of rural spaces to warehouse prisoners. Preliminary evidence from a unique dataset across three states suggests that housing large, institutionalized prison populations inflates population counts in otherwise shrinking rural areas and operates as a hidden subsidy for rural counties with prison infrastructure. Prisons contribute to the immediate economic viability of predominantly white, lower class rural areas, despite devastating costs borne elsewhere.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- criminal justice
- political economy
- rural prisons