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Mark S. Fleisher


The purpose of this research was to explore how undercount bias was affected by the street lifestyles of Black, Hispanic, and American Indian men who cycle between the street and the “system” (jails, prisons, missions, detoxification centers, among similar institutions). The men in my study are criminals. They spend months in jail or years in prison and eventually return to the street where they might reside in a string of different households, among other living arrangements. Weeks or months after their release, many of them commit another crime and are returned to prison. Over half of the Black, Hispanic, and American Indian prisoner population returns to prison or jail (Bureau of Justice Statistics 1987) within 18 months of release from prison (Bureau of Justice Statistics 1988). This pattern of recidivism has earned criminals like these (including White offenders) the label of "career criminal."

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