Graph showing the increasing wealth disparity between incarcerated and non-incarcerated young men starting at age 14.

Data Source: Calculated by the Prison Policy Initiative from Table 4 of Zaw et al., Race, Wealth and Incarceration: Results from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (2016). (Graph: Meredith Booker, 2016)

This graph originally appeared in The Crippling Effect of Incarceration on Wealth.

When it comes to the economic impacts of incarceration, one point becomes very clear: men who experience incarceration maintain lower levels of wealth throughout their lifetime compared to men who are never incarcerated. This disparity is present before, during and after a person is incarcerated. (The data stops in 2000 because of small numbers of survey respondents for some subgroups; the authors note that the wealth trends remain in the years that followed.)

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