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Minnesota’s Affordable Homes Program: Evaluating the Effect of a Prison Work Program on Recidivism, Employment and Cost Avoidance

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice Policy Review Volume: 23 Issue: 3 Dated: 2012 Pages: 327–51
Date Published
25 pages

This study examined whether the Affordable Homes Program (AHP) increased postrelease employment, lowered recidivism, and reduced costs to the State of Minnesota.


This study assessing the Affordable Homes Program (AHP), a prison work crew program managed by the Minnesota Department of Corrections (MNDOC), found that during the 1998-2008 period, AHP (a) built 285 affordable homes, (b) significantly increased offenders’ odds of obtaining postrelease employment in the construction field, and (c) produced US$13.1 million in costs avoided. It did not, however, significantly reduce recidivism. The study uses a retrospective, quasi-experimental design in which propensity score matching was used to control for observable selection bias. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: January 1, 2012