10/18/2010 09:55 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Prison Time Traps Americans In Cycle Of Poverty

With 2.3 million people in prison, America has the highest incarceration rate in the world.

According to NPR, a new report entitled "Incarceration & Social Inequality" takes an in-depth look at the connection between prison and poverty.

The study finds that the stigma of serving time in jail follows ex-convicts into the work world, making it nearly impossible for them to find stable employment.

Slate reports,

In devastating detail...the sociologists Bruce Western of Harvard and Becky Pettit of the University of Washington have shown how poverty creates prisoners and how prisons in turn fuel poverty, not just for individuals but for entire demographic groups.

NPR's Michel Martin interviews Pettit, the report's co-author, along with Eugene Nelson, an ex-convict seeking to rebuild his life.