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CSDE Seminar Series

Population Research Discovery Seminars

Institutional Castling: Military Enlistment and Mass Incarceration in the United States

Bryan Sykes, Associate Professor, Department of Criminology, Law and Society, University of California, Irvine


Register for Zoom Seminar HERE

12:30-1:30 PM PT

The military is a major state provider of employment, occupational training, and educational subsidies. Yet military downsizing and its increased selectivity during penal expansion may have cleaved off employment opportunities for disadvantaged men. We show how institutional castling—the shifting prominence of competing institutions in the lives of specific demographic groups—has affected the underlying risk of military employment and penal confinement. Black veterans who have dropped out of high school are less likely to be incarcerated than their nonveteran counterparts, and declines in the employment rates of military service members with less than a high school education are associated with large increases in incarceration rates. The military’s critical role in providing institutional protection from the penal system has eroded for young, undereducated African American men. 

This talk is based on an article, which can be viewed here

Bryan Sykes, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society (and, by courtesy, Sociology and Public Health); a Faculty Affiliate in The Center for Demographic and Social Analysis (CDASA) and The Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy at the University of California-Irvine. He is an Associate Editor for Science Advances (the Open Access version of Science), an Academic Editor for the Public Library of Science (PLOS) ONE, and Co-Editor-in-Chief of Sociological Perspectives. His research focuses on demography and criminology, broadly defined, with particular interests in fertility, mortality, population health, mass imprisonment, social inequality, and research methodology.