The Relationship between Motherhood and Recidivism

Haeil Jung, Indiana University
Robert LaLonde, University of Chicago

Using matched administrative records from the Illinois Department of Corrections and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, this paper finds that mothers’ re-incarceration is higher than women without children. It is also found that incarcerated mothers, whose children have been in foster care, have a higher re-incarceration rate than women without children. The re-incarceration is particularly higher among mothers who have children in foster care overlapping with their first incarceration and mothers who had children in foster care but lost their custody before entering their first incarceration. These findings are more distinctively shown among white women with drug-related offenses or with drug addiction than their African-American women counterparts.

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Presented in Session 186: Demography of Crime and Punishment