Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2017


Incarceration was once a promising crime control strategy, but over the last four decades it has increased exponentially and has been highly concentrated in disadvantaged communities. These high rates of imprisonment may be harming those communities greatly because at high rates incarceration loses its crime fighting ability and increases crime, which may compromise community safety and overall health. The current research explores the effects that high rates of neighborhood incarceration have on nonincarcerated individuals’ stress levels and mental health. Data for this study were collected from a convenience sample of students in the La Salle University’s Academic Discovery Program (ADP) and were paired with data from reentry rates provided by the online database, Justice Atlas. Ordinary least squares regression models using listwise deletion were employed. Findings indicate that high levels of incarceration did not have a significant impact on individuals’ stress levels or mental health. Higher levels of stress were associated with three other predictor variables, which are neighborhood influence, perceived crime, and neighborhood attachment. The findings have policy implications for policies and strategies for post-release supervision agencies and law enforcement agencies.