Does Prison Harden Inmates? A Discontinuity-based Approach
Keith Chen and
Jesse Shapiro ()
Law and Economics from University Library of Munich, Germany
Some two million Americans are currently incarcerated, with roughly six hundred thousand to be released this year. Despite this, little is known about the effects of confinement on the post-release lives of inmates. Focusing on post-release criminal activity, we identify the effect of prison conditions on recidivism rates by exploiting a discontinuity in the assignment of federal prisoners to security levels. We find that worsening prison conditions significantly increases post-release crime, and that this increase is skewed towards the commission of violent crimes.
Keywords: prisons; regression discontinuity; security level (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-law
Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; prepared on IBM PC; to print on HP; pages: 29 ; figures: included
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Working Paper: Does Prison Harden Inmates? A Discontinuity-based Approach (2003)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:wpa:wuwple:0304003
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