Targeting intensive job assistance to ex-offenders by the nature of offense: Results from a randomized control trial

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2 Scopus citations

Abstract

As many as two-thirds of newly-released inmates will be arrested for a new offense within 3 years. This study evaluates the impact of job assistance on recidivism rates among ex-offenders. The job assistance program, run though the private company America Works, uses a network of employers to place clients. Ex-offenders were randomly assigned to intensive job assistance (treatment group) or the standard program (control group). The intensive program is meant to improve average work readiness for ex-offenders. It reduces the likelihood of subsequent arrest among nonviolent ex-offenders, but has little effect on violent ex-offenders. The rearrest rate for nonviolent ex-offenders in the treatment group was 19 percentage points lower than those in the control group. The rearrest rate for violent ex-offenders in the treatment group was indistinguishable from those in the control group. We estimate benefits from intensive job assistance from averted crimes and find that they outweigh the $5,000 up-front cost for nonviolent ex-offenders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1308-1327
Number of pages20
JournalEconomic Inquiry
Volume59
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Western Economic Association International

Keywords

  • criminal recidivism
  • job readiness
  • prisoner reentry
  • workforce training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Economics and Econometrics

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