The Collateral Consequences of Prisonization: Racial Sorting, Carceral Identity, and Community Criminalization

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John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


In this paper, I employ analyses of the collateral consequences of mass incarceration to consider how high-incarceration communities are impacted by socializing processes instilled in the prison. Collateral consequences researchers have found that neighborhoods with high rates of incarceration suffer cumulative disadvantage, intensified policing, and the criminalization of residents. But overlooked in this literature is how socializing processes that are institutionalized in the prison shape the criminalization of community residents as gang-involved. For example, I argue that the fallout of sorting imprisoned Latinos into gang-associated groups has been the emergence of prison-based Norteña/o, Sureña/o, and Bulldog identities in criminalized Chicana/o neighborhoods, complicating the implications mass incarceration has for marginalized communities of color. The geographic concentration of both mass incarceration and its collateral consequences not only directs aggressive policing into these residential spaces but also structures a relationship between prison and neighborhood that reinforces the recognition of community members as criminal. The appearance of Norteña/o, Sureña/o, and Bulldog identities in Latina/o neighborhoods represents some of the unanticipated consequences mass incarceration has for high-incarceration communities, both in terms of the exportation of prison culture to the street and in terms of the extension of the prison's ability to define and construct criminality.