One not frequently noted penalty from committing crime

I suppose that we are accounting for this with the length of prison sentences in our empirical work, but it is one possible reason to believe that the penalty from imprisonment is changing over time.

When it comes to reading or arithmetic, Marvin Calvin is delighted to help his two children. He missed out on many of the duties of parenthood during a 10-year stretch in prison for armed robbery.

But when it comes to MP3 players, video game consoles, computers or the Internet, he is just baffled.

"I won't even sit down with them and play that little game thing because I don't even know how to operate it," said the 48-year-old Calvin, who was freed in July.

He is a technological Rip Van Winkle.

Because of the rapid pace of technological change, thousands of inmates like Calvin leave prison every year to find a world very different from the one they knew when they went in.