Race, criminal justice contact, and adult position in the social stratification system

Academic Article


  • Recent theoretical developments in the life-course perspective have focused on the effects of criminal justice contact on many stratification outcomes. Using data from a large sample of males convicted in the U.S. federal court system, we investigate the effects of criminal justice contact, race, family background, educational attainment, and age on an important stratification outcome: average monthly income. We also explore how the timing of criminal justice contact in the life course affects this outcome. Results indicate that contact with the criminal justice system, especially when it occurs early in life, is a major life event that has a deleterious effect on individuals' subsequent income level. However, the effects of criminal justice contact appear to be both age-graded and more pronounced early in life for whites than for blacks.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Social Problems  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kerley KR; Benson ML; Lee MR; Cullen FT
  • Start Page

  • 549
  • End Page

  • 568
  • Volume

  • 51
  • Issue

  • 4