The hidden subsidies of rural prisons: Race, space and the politics of cumulative disadvantage

Hannah L. Walker, Rebecca U. Thorpe, Emily K. Christensen, J. P. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-416
Number of pages24
JournalPunishment and Society
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Law

Keywords

  • criminal justice
  • political economy
  • rural prisons

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