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Remuneration and Recidivism - The Long-Term Impact of Unemployment Compensation on Ex-Offenders

NCJ Number
Journal of Quantitative Criminology Volume: 3 Issue: 1 Dated: (March 1987) Pages: 3-27
D Rauma; R A Berk
Date Published
25 pages
These study findings indicate that a California program has reduced ex-offender recidivism by providing unemployment compensation immediately after release from prison.
California Senate Bill 224 mandated that, beginning in July 1978, adults released from prison could apply for unemployment insurance. Eligibility was obtained by working in prison jobs or by participating in prison vocational programs after January 1, 1977. The initial data set consisted of a sample of about 1,100 Releases from California prisons who applied for the unemployment benefits and were followed for 10 months after their application for benefits. Additional data were collected on the sample to determine criminal activity during the first 5 years after application for unemployment benefits. The regression-discontinuity design was applied to the data. The analysis determined the elapsed time between exposure to the program and recidivism or the termination of the followup period. Recidivism for the eligible group was consistently lower over the 5 years than for an ineligible group. 5 figures, 3 tables, and 33 references.


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