Marked: Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 4/15/2009
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
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Nearly every job application asks it: have you ever been convicted of a crime? For the hundreds of thousands of young men leaving American prisons each year, their answer to that question may determine whether they can find work and begin rebuilding their lives. The product of an innovative field experiment,Markedgives us our first real glimpse into the tremendous difficulties facing ex-offenders in the job market. Devah Pager matched up pairs of young men, randomly assigned them criminal records, then sent them on hundreds of real job searches throughout the city of Milwaukee. Her applicants were attractive, articulate, and capableyet ex-offenders received less than half the callbacks of the equally qualified applicants without criminal backgrounds. Young black men, meanwhile, paid a particularly high price: those with clean records fared no better in their job searches than white men just out of prison. Such shocking barriers to legitimate work, Pager contends, are an important reason that many ex-prisoners soon find themselves back in the realm of poverty, underground employment, and crime that led them to prison in the first place. "Using scholarly research, field research in Milwaukee, and graphics, [Pager] shows that ex-offenders, white or black, stand a very poor chance of getting a legitimate job. . . . Both informative and convincing."Library Journal "Markedis that rare book: a penetrating text that rings with moral concern couched in vivid proseand one of the most useful sociological studies in years."Michael Eric Dyson

Author Biography

Devah Pager is associate professor of sociology at Princeton University.



Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Mass Incarceration and the Problems of Prisoner Reentryp. 9
The Labor Market Consequences of Incarcerationp. 28
Measuring the Labor Market Consequences of Incarcerationp. 41
The Mark of a Criminal Recordp. 58
The Mark of Racep. 86
Two Strikes and You're Out: The Intensification of Racial and Criminal Stigmap. 100
But What If ...? Variations on the Experimental Designp. 117
Conclusion: Missing the Markp. 144
Notesp. 161
Referencesp. 213
Indexp. 235
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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