Mass Incarceration Has Been a Driving Force of Economic Inequality

As people struggle with the economic fallout of Covid-19, there’s a growing sense that the economy wasn’t working well for many even before the lockdowns.

In late 2019, in the middle of a theoretically strong economy, income inequality hit a record high, and a cavernous wealth gap continues to separate too many white and Black families. Those inequalities are seen, more than anywhere else, in the criminal justice system — and more specifically in what the system does to families.

We know that people who have been convicted of a crime or imprisoned are more likely to face poverty and other serious challenges.