Imprisonment and Disenfranchisement of Disconnected Low-Income Men. Notes


  1. In 2010, the year for the data estimates, the federal poverty threshold was $11,344 for a single adult and $17,552 for a family of three with one child. Twice the poverty level was $22,688 for a single adult and $35,104 for a family of three (
  2. See “Mass Incarceration,” Christopher Wildeman, Oxford Bibliographies, accessed September 25, 2013,  Raphael and Stoll (2013); and US Department of Justice (2013). In a speech to the American Bar Association on August 12, 2013, Attorney General Eric Holder made reference to the Justice Department review and the reasons for it.
  3. African American refers to non-Hispanic African American or black and includes those who identified themselves as black or African American only. White refers to non-Hispanic white and includes those who identified themselves as white only. People of Hispanic origin may be of any race. Respondents who identified as other or two or more races are grouped under “Other non-Hispanic.”
  4. The imprisonment rate is the number of prisoners under state or federal jurisdiction with a sentence of longer than a year per 100,000 US residents (Carson and Sabol 2012).
  5.  The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports numbers for age 18–19 and then in five-year increments (e.g., 20–24, 25–29, 30–34) until age 64, with a last category for age 65 and older.
  6. Bonczar (2003) analyzed data between 1974 and 2001. Comparable data to estimate first incarceration rates were not available before 1974.
  7. See Chung (2013). Disenfranchisement is not the only collat-eral consequence of incarceration; denial of welfare and housing benefits, and the fracturing of families and communities also result. For more on these consequences, see Mauer and Chesney-Lind (2002).
  8., The Sentencing Project, accessed August 2012.
  9. See Uggen and colleagues (2012) for list of states. Some states do allow individuals to petition for restoration of voting rights, but these petitions do not change the pattern significantly. Virginia requires a five-year waiting period for violent crimes and some drug offenses before an ex-felon can petition for restoration of voting rights. As of July 1, 2013, the state will no longer require a two-year waiting period for nonviolent crimes (Chung 2013).
  10. Data on felon disenfranchisement include all prisoners, male and female.
  11. Pettit and Western (2004) document differences by education and race. See also the Justice Mapping Center ( and the Justice Atlas (
  12. Johnson (2009) documents the consequences for children of incarcerated parents.

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