Intimate Partner Violence in the Great Recession

  • Authors: Daniel Schneider, Kristen Harknett, Sara McLanahan
  • Date: September 9, 2013
In the United States, the Great Recession has been marked by severe negative shocks to labor market conditions. In this study, we combine longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study with Bureau of Labor Statistics data on local area unemployment rates to examine the relationship between adverse labor market conditions and intimate partner violence between 1999 and 2010. We find that rapidly worsening labor market conditions are associated with increases in the prevalence of violent/controlling behavior in marriage. These effects are most pronounced among whites and those with at least some post-secondary education. Worsening economic conditions significantly increase the risk that white mothers and more educated mothers will be in violent/controlling marriages rather than high quality marital unions.

The Great Recession and State Criminal Justice Policy: Do Economic Hard Times Matter?

  • Authors: Peter K. Enns, Delphia Shanks-Booth
  • Date: May 5, 2015
In the 1970s, the U.S. incarceration rate began to rise--and it continued to rise for nearly four decades. As a result, the United States now imprisons a higher proportion of its population than any country in the world. In recent years, however, the decades-long trend of increasingly punitive criminal justice policies and a growing prison population has subsided. Changes unimaginable ten years ago, such as the decriminalization of certain low-level drug o ffenses, the closing of prisons, and a decline in the overall prison population have occurred. By many measures, the United States is still the most punitive democracy in the world, but these changes are real and consequential. To understand these shifts, many scholars and pundits have drawn attention to the potential influence of the Great Recession. Not only did the Great Recession precede many of these changes, but it seems reasonable to suspect that largest economic shock since the Great Depression could in influence criminal justice policy and resulting incarcerations. After all, it costs a lot to maintain the world's highest incarceration rate. Yet, evidence of a relationship between past recessions and the incarceration rate is mixed at best. Were the eff ects of the Great Recession more substantial than previous recessions or do the recent shifts in criminal justice policy and the incarceration rate reflect factors beyond the economic climate?