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Cash: Leave the Door Open? Prison Conditions and Recidivism

Giovanni Mastrobuoni () and Daniele Terlizzese
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Daniele Terlizzese: EIEF and Bank of Italy

No 2111, EIEF Working Papers Series from Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF)

Abstract: We estimate the effect on recidivism of replacing time served in a common closed-cell prison with time served in an open-cell one. We deal with the endogenous assignment of inmates to different prison regimes using variation that is driven by nearby prisons’ overcrowding. Switching regimes for a year reduces recidivism by around 6 percentage points (or pp). The effects are largest for inmates with low levels of education and are weak for violent and for hardened criminals.

Pages: 67 pages
Date: 2021, Revised 2021-06
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