The dataset I chose to use for my final project is titled, “The Institutionalization Effect: The Impact of Mental Hospitalization and Imprisonment on Homicide in the US 1934-2001.” The original study complied national and state incarceration and mental hospitalization to examine the effects institutionalization had on homicide rates. I found the dataset, and the accompanying article from the Journal of Legal Studies on ICPSR’s data archive.
Since the datasets I am working with have already been used for a publication, there wasn’t any data to be cleaned. However, I did change some of the data by removing some columns I deemed not relevant or redundant to my final project (i.e. ID, State) and renamed the columns from the original researchers’ shorthand or abbreviated column name to what it is identified as in the codebook.
The two visualization I would like to attempt are exemplified in Natasha Stephenson’s “Adolescent HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa” and Nick Adams’s “UK Hospital Youth Admissions for Mental Health Conditions.” Both use a spatial/mapping component as a central piece for their argument and present other visualizations as supporting evidence. I hope to visualize the “The Institutionalization Effect” state data with a mapping component that traces institutionalization rates from the 1920s to the 2000s. Pairing the map with a bar graph that presents homicide rates over the same time frame will get a better sense of the periodization, formation, and effectiveness of mass incarceration. The current historiographical debate is whether the carceral state emerged from federal legislation, beginning with JFK’s New Frontier programs, or if legislative change was driven by state policy in the 1970s that later was adopted by the Regan administration.* I hope contextualizing this data within state and federal policy changes will help elucidate the processes, and effects, of the punitive anti-crime legislation and the creation of the carceral state.
*Jennifer Mittelstadt. From welfare to workfare: the unintended consequences of liberal reform, 1945-1965. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005; Elizabeth Hinton. From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017; Julilly Kohler-Hausmann. Getting tough: welfare and imprisonment in 1970s America. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2017.