THE LASTING IMPACT OF A CRIMINAL RECORD: EFFECTS OF ARRESTS AND INCARCERATIONS ON EMPLOYMENT STATUS

Open Access
Author:
Schmitt, Samantha Elizabeth
Area of Honors:
Sociology
Degree:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Holly Nguyen, Thesis Supervisor
  • Stacy Silver, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • arrest
  • arrests
  • incarceration
  • incarcerations
  • employment
  • out of labor force
  • unemployment
  • criminal record
  • ban the box
  • NLSY97
  • National Longitudinal Survey of Youth
  • race
Abstract:
The purpose of this study is to examine the “scarlet letter” of a criminal record in today’s society, specifically the lasting impact it has on employment. The current study aims to explain the impact of criminal justice contact, and how it can impact employment status. Given prior research largely uses audit studies with experimental design and focuses on individuals actively searching. The current study uses survey method analyses and targets individuals who are out of the labor force. This research is also unique because it focuses on young adults aged 20 to 24. Moreover, this research examines how race moderates employment status. By using the National Longitudinal Youth Survey 1997 (NLSY97), a nationally represented sample, this research found that both arrest and incarceration have a negative impact on employment status. The results also show prior incarceration is associated with a to a greater likelihood of an individual being out of the labor force, when compared to arrest. Additional results also show the relationship between criminal justice contact and being out of the labor force is the strongest among black respondents.