“Beyond Incarceration: Criminal Justice Contact and Mental Health” with Kristin Turney, UC Irvine

Event time: 
Thursday, December 1, 2016 - 12:00pm through 1:15pm
Institution for Social and Policy Studies (ISPS), The Policy Lab
77 Prospect St.
New Haven, CT 06511
Kristin Turney, Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, University of California, Irvine
Event description: 


Abstract: A growing literature documents the deleterious consequences of incarceration for mental health. Although salient, incarceration is only one form of criminal justice contact in the United States and, accordingly, focusing on incarceration may mask the extent to which the criminal justice system encumbers mental health. In this article, we use insights from the stress process paradigm, along with nationally representative data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97), to examine the relationship between criminal justice contact—defined as arrest, conviction, and incarceration—and mental health. First, random and fixed effects models, where the latter adjust for stable characteristics of respondents, show that arrest, conviction, and incarceration have similarly deleterious associations with mental health, though we find some evidence that certain types of incarcerations are more consequential. Second, the associations between criminal justice contact and mental health are equally consequential for non-Hispanic Whites, non-Hispanic Blacks, and Hispanics; this, combined with racial/ethnic disparities in contact, indicates that arrest, conviction, and incarceration all exacerbate minority health inequalities. Third, the association between criminal justice contact, especially arrest, and mental health is concentrated among those residing in contextually disadvantaged areas during adolescence. Taken together, the results suggest that the consequences of criminal justice system contact for short-term mental health have a far greater reach than previously considered.

Kristin Turney’s research, stemming from a rich tradition of social stratification inquiry, investigates the complex and dynamic role of families in creating, maintaining, and exacerbating social inequalities.

Cosponsored by the Center for Research on Inequalities and the Life Course (CIQLE) and the ISPS Policy Lab.

Open to: 
Yale Community Only
Event type 
Seminar, Workshop