A new study in Justice Quarterly has found that high rates of incarceration in America may not be enough to facilitate community safety.
The study was conducted at Pennsylvania State University.
The research team compared feelings of safety among the different counties and states across the country. The data of over 18,000 people at the state-level and 7,000 at the county-level was used and subsequently analyzed.
“We find that people from states and counties with greater “cumulative imprisonment” rates were no less afraid than their counterparts from areas that imprisoned many fewer people,” the study’s authors uncovered.
“These findings hold for the public overall and for non-Latino whites and members of the working and middle classes, who frequently were target audiences for political rhetoric linking mass incarceration era policies to fear reduction.”
“Our study supports growing calls to decouple crime and criminal justice policy from politics and electoral cycles, and to develop evidence-based punishment approaches organized around transparent normative principles.”