Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Sociology (MA)

Degree Level



Sociology and Criminal Justice


Mindy S. Bradley

Committee Member

Rodney Engen

Second Committee Member

Casey T. Harris


Social sciences, Coercive mobility, Concentrated disadvantage, Prison cycling


This study examines the impact of incarceration, or coercive mobility, on concentrated disadvantage, testing an essential component of the theoretical model proposed by Todd Clear and Dina Rose (1998) and elaborated by Clear (2007). These authors argue that while concentrated economic disadvantage may lead to high crime rates, chronically high rates of incarceration may operate as a type of "coercive mobility," exacerbating concentrated disadvantage and increasing crime rates, especially in high-minority urban communities. The study also examines the importance of religious congregations, as a measure of community Social capital, which may moderate the relationship between coercive mobility and concentrated disadvantage. Theoretically, the effect of coercive mobility should be greater in urban areas, and smaller in areas where the number of religious congregations is high. I test these relationships using county-level data in 2000 and 2010 on prison admissions and releases from the National Corrections Reporting Program, Social and economic indicators from the Census, and the number of religious congregations from the Religious Congregations and Membership Study.