Democratic governors who win office by thin margins lock more people up and spend more money on jails and prisons than their Republican counterparts, according to new research, a finding the author said exposes some Democrats’ “complicity” in the rapid growth of institutions designed to punish criminals.
The results challenge the widely held belief that Republicans’ actions alone have driven the country’s world-leading incarceration rate.
“The construction of the carceral state was a bipartisan initiative — and I think the story really is as simple as that,” Gunderson told The Academic Times.
“If we only look to or blame one party for that, [we’re] not telling the whole story.”.
Her statistical models revealed that Democratic governors who barely won increased corrections spending in their states by approximately $15 per capita.
Partisanship, Punitive Policies, and the Puzzle of Democratic Governors,” published Jan. 29 in Political Research Quarterly, was authored by assistant professor Anna Gunderson of Louisiana State University. »