Portfolio: Haller Portfolios Project Proposal

Module 6: Breather

I am interested in the datasets compiled in the “The Institutionalization Effect: The Impact of Mental Hospitalization and Imprisonment on Homicide in the US 1934-2001

After opening and looking through “The Institutionalization Effect” and the “Boys Town Study of Youth Development” datasets via OpenRefine and their code books, the data in “The Institutionalization Effect” seemed more relevant to the questions I have seen other historians ask about the carceral state and some of the questions I ask of my own research.

Such questions include: Does early institutionalization and entrance into the state system prevent or exacerbate mass incarceration and/or homicide rates? Has mass incarceration been effective in keeping homicide rates down? Has hospitalization been effective in keeping homicide rates down? What can this data tell us about punitive versus reformative carceral policy?

One reply on “Module 6: Breather”

Your plans look good so far, but you also have time to shift gears to hauntings if you decide to 🙂 Make sure to differentiate your work from the Journal of Legal Studies article that comes bundled with the data download, and contextualize your work within the policy shifts of the period (Kennedy’s push against institutionalization, Regan’s defunding of social safety nets and community care, etc).

Make sure to compare changing institutional populations to overall population (ie, there are 2 incarcerated people per 100000 population in Alabama in 1922 vs 4 per 100000 in 1990) to control for changing populations across time and place. This can be done in Tableau or with a spreadsheet formula (=incarcerated/state)

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