Cornell University

During the spring semester, in-person concerts, events and lectures that involve outside guests will not be held, per the university’s COVID-19 travel and visitor policy.

Cornell Population Center and PAM Seminar: Bryan Sykes, Associate Professor of Criminology, Law and Society

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 1:15pm to 2:30pm

Virtual Event

A New Malthusian Population Check: Mass Incarceration and Fertility in America

Growth in the criminal justice system over the last five decades represents a critical institutional intervention in the lives of American families, which may have far-reaching and unintended consequences for demographic processes. Despite considerable research on the labor market, educational, and political inequality associated with penal growth, little research  investigates how the expansion of the prison industrial complex has affected fertility patterns.  Using a unique dataset created from multiple data sources, I present results from two ongoing projects that assess the effects of mass incarceration on the timing and levels of fertility for men and women. Findings show that mass incarceration, as a social control policy, also operates as a new Malthusian population check by delaying and reducing individual and aggregate fertility levels.

Bryan L. Sykes is a Chancellor's Fellow and Associate Professor of Criminology, Law and Society (and, by courtesy, Sociology and Public Health) at the University of California-Irvine, and he is an Associate Editor for Science Advances (the Open Access version of Science magazine), an Academic Editor for the Public Library of Science (PLoS) One, and Co-Editor-in-Chief of Sociological Perspectives. Dr. Sykes received a joint Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography from the University of California-Berkeley and completed post-doctoral research at the University of Washington. His research focuses on demography and criminology, broadly defined, with particular interests in fertility, mortality, population health, mass imprisonment, social inequality, and research methodology.  Professor Sykes’ work on the collateral consequences of mass incarceration, and racial inequality therein, has been published in leading social science and medical journals, and his estimates of racial disparities in incarceration were featured in the National Research Council’s landmark report on The Growth of Incarceration in the United States.

Joint CPC and PAM Seminar with Byran Sykes,  Associate Professor of Criminology, Law and Society,  University of California, Irvine. 

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College of Human Ecology, Human Ecology Policy Analysis and Management, Policy Analysis and Management, Cornell Population Center, Cornell Center for Social Sciences (CCSS)



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Meg Cole

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Bryan Sykes

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