Targeting Intensive Job Assistance to Ex-Offenders by the Nature of Offense: Results from a Randomized Control Trial

34 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2021

See all articles by Christopher R. Bollinger

Christopher R. Bollinger

University of Kentucky - Department of Economics

Aaron Yelowitz

University of Kentucky - Department of Economics

Abstract

As many as two-thirds of newly-released inmates will be arrested for a new offense within three 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 non-violent ex-offenders, but has little effect on violent ex-offenders. The re-arrest rate for non-violent ex-offenders in the treatment group was 19 percentage points lower than those in the control group. The re-arrest 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 non-violent ex-offenders.

JEL Classification: J48

Suggested Citation

Bollinger, Christopher R. and Yelowitz, Aaron, Targeting Intensive Job Assistance to Ex-Offenders by the Nature of Offense: Results from a Randomized Control Trial. IZA Discussion Paper No. 14078, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3775983

Christopher R. Bollinger (Contact Author)

University of Kentucky - Department of Economics ( email )

Lexington, KY 40506
United States

Aaron Yelowitz

University of Kentucky - Department of Economics ( email )

Lexington, KY 40506
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
11
Abstract Views
67
PlumX Metrics