BUSINESS CYCLES AND RACIAL DISPARITIES IN PUNISHMENT
SAMUEL L. MYERS
WILLIAM J. SABOL
Deeply rooted historical patterns allow us to make a correlation between imprisonment and unemployment and the marginalization of blacks. This paper examines the interrelationships among criminal activity, punishment, and cycles of the economic system based on the influence of political and economic forces on forming penal policies. The penal system is viewed as a device by which labor market fluctuations can be regulated. We examine differences between blacks and whites and between the North and the South to arrive at this paper's thesis: that race provides the link among economic cycles, employment, and crime. Copyright 1987 Western Economic Association International.
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