Effects of Incarceration on a Marriage

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The Effects of Incarceration on a Marriage
Since 1970 the rate of incarceration has more than tripled in the United States alone. In may urban cities such as Washington D.C., it has increased five fold. But statistics do not reveal what it is like for the children, wives, and parents of prisoners. It certainly does not show how the increasing numbers of inmates on the inside are having a profound effect on the outside--reaching deep into the family and community life of urban american families. Drawing on numerous powerful family structures supported by extensive empirical data, studies are shining a light on the darker side of a system that is failing the very people it is designed to protect.

In a recent study of delinquent boys, criminologist John Laub and sociologist Robert Sampson documented in Shared Beginnings, Divergent Live: Delinquent Boys to Age 70, that wives instilled discipline in their partners. This lead them to abandon any deviant peer group in favor of focusing on building a family life. Since having served time in prison reduces the likelihood that a man will...
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