CPR-CAPS Joint Seminar: Atheendar Venkataramani
Eggers Hall , 060
Atheendar Venkataramani (University of Pennsylvania) will present "State Sentencing Policies and Racial Disparities in Birth Outcomes," as part of the joint Center for Policy Research (CPR) and Center for Aging and Policy Studies (CAPS) seminar.
Abstract: U.S. states adopted a number of tough on crime policies in the early 1990s, including truth-in-sentencing and three strikes policies. While the impacts of these policies on crime and incarceration have been previously studied, less is known about their impacts on health outcomes. These policies may influence health through myriad ways, including through changes in community incarceration rates and crime rates or stigmatizion. In this study, we use detailed birth certificate data along with quasi-experimental research methods to examine the impacts of state truth-in-sentencing and three strikes policies on birth outcomes by race. We find evidence of positive impacts of truth-in-sentencing policies on gestational age among White and Black infants born to mothers with college or higher education, with results for Black infants being less precise. For three strikes, we find evidence of negative impacts on birth weight for Black infants born to mothers with less than a college education. The findings highlight the heterogeneous nature of tough-on-crime policies and the varied mechanisms by which they might pattern health and racial health disparities.
Social Science and Public Policy
Lectures and Seminars
Hybrid Campus and Virtual
Students, Graduate and Professional
MAX-Center for Policy Research, MAX-Aging Studies Institute
Contact Alyssa Kirk to request additional accommodations