Although many scholars have analyzed the causes and consequences of the rise of mass incarceration, few have documented the growth and consequences of mass immigration detention. About half of those sentenced in federal courts are noncitizens and about one-tenth of federal prisoners are incarcerated for immigration-related offenses. Noncitizens, especially undocumented immigrants, are more likely to be incarcerated prior to trial and to receive longer criminal sentences than citizens.
Sociologist Caitlin Patler will examine the social, economic, and health consequences of prolonged detention on detainees and their families. She will focus on the challenges detainees face both during detention and following release as they reenter their communities. She will also analyze the effects of detention and post-release reentry or deportation on their families.