Date of Award

January 2021

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Danya Keene


A growing literature suggests that mass incarceration impacts not only the individual who is incarcerated, but also their partners, family members, and children. However, few studies have examined race differences in network exposure to mass incarceration. This study explores associations between race and various measures of network exposure to incarceration: relationships, interactions with the criminal legal system, and housing. We draw on data from the 2017-2018 baseline survey from the Justice, Housing, and Health Study. Descriptive statistics show that Black respondents are more likely to experience each event we examined compared to whites, except for parental incarceration and receiving threats by police, parole or probation officer about a family member, friend, or partner. Many of these race differences remain significant after adjusting for demographic factors and a person’s own incarceration. Taken together, these results suggest that race differences exist among network exposure to mass incarceration; the reach of the criminal legal system in society is expanded through networks of the incarcerated; and incarceration of an individual impacts housing insecurity of those within their social network, having implications for widening socioeconomic and racial inequalities in the U.S.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access