Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Sociology (MA)

Degree Level



Sociology and Criminal Justice


Rodney Engen

Committee Member

Mindy Bradley

Second Committee Member

Casey Harris


Social sciences, Multilevel modeling, Parole revocations, Prison admissions, Racial disproportionality


Scholars have sought to understand the problem of racial disproportionality in U.S. imprisonment rates for over four decades, but current research has yet to identify the specific correctional mechanisms that exacerbate racial differences in incarceration (Garland, 2013). The rate of parole revocations increased markedly in the 1990s and 2000s, contributing to the growth in imprisonment in the US. Likewise, some research also finds that the likelihood of parole revocation varies by race, but we know little about the effect of parole revocations on imprisonment disparity (Huebner and Bynum, 2008). This study uses a sample of 24 states over a twenty year period (1990-2009) to test the hypothesis that parole revocation admissions contribute to disparity in imprisonment by race. Specifically, this study employs multilevel modeling to assess the extent to which parole revocations account for race differences in prisons admissions, when controlling for individual characteristics as well as state structural factors and policies.