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

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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.

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APA

Bollinger, C. R., & Yelowitz, A. (2021). Targeting intensive job assistance to ex-offenders by the nature of offense: Results from a randomized control trial. Economic Inquiry, 59(3), 1308–1327. https://doi.org/10.1111/ecin.12984

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