“Released but not Free": Socioeconomic Reintegration Following Long-Term Immigration Detention

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2203 SS&H (Andrews Conference Room) | UC Davis
Caitlin Patler
Caitlin Patler
Assistant Professor of Sociology, UC Davis

An established body of social science research analyzes the causes and consequences of the rise of mass incarceration, yet few studies document the growth and consequences of a parallel system: mass immigration detention. The first of its kind, this study examines longitudinal and mixed-methods data on the effects of long-term immigration detention on post-release economic outcomes. Like criminal incarceration, immigration detention generates severe economic and psychological insecurity and challenges to reentry into the labor market. However, my analyses suggest that reentry experiences may vary significantly between detainees and inmates released from the criminal justice system. These findings call for a re-assessment of detention as a non-punitive administrative program and suggest that long-term detention may disadvantage immigrant communities in far more significant ways than previously understood.

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