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Neighborhoods, Recidivism, and Employment among Returning Prisoners

a PSC Research Project [ARCHIVE DISPLAY]

Investigators:   Jeffrey Morenoff, David J. Harding

The rising number of individuals being released from prison has prompted renewed interest among academics and policy makers in integrating former prisoners back into society. Still, relatively little is known about how the communities into which former prisoners move when they leave prison affect the likelihood that they will secure stable employment and the likelihood that they will not return to prison. The proposed research would fill an important gap in the literature on prisoner reentry by focusing on the role that community context plays in predicting (a) the likelihood of parolees securing stable and gainful employment and (b) the risk of recidivism (e.g., arrest, parole violation or revocation, and recommitment to prison). The project would be the first to assemble and analyze a rich set of administrative records on individual parolees and to link these records with data on neighborhood context, a complex task that requires the time and expertise to code and verify information reported in parole agent case notes. The data to be assembled for this project consist of administrative records of individuals paroled from Michigan prisons in 2003. The requested funds would cover the merging of administrative databases, coding of employment, recidivism, and substance abuse data from parole agent case notes for sampled records, cleaning of other variables, and analysis. Residential addresses and living arrangements will have already been geocoded for a related project, and data on neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics of census tracts will be appended to parolee records. The proposed analysis would estimate the effects of neighborhood context on employment outcomes and recidivism, net of pre-incarceration neighborhood context and a host of individual-level factors. Inverse Probability of Treatment Weighting (IPTW) and sensitivity analysis will be used to assess and strengthen causal inferences. This proposal also includes plans for archiving the data and for disseminating the results of the research. Expected products include interim and final reports to NIJ, a policy brief, and one or more articles for academic journals.

Funding Period: 11/01/2008 to 09/30/2011

Project website: http://www.prisonerreentryresearch.org/

Country of Focus: USA

This PSC Archive record is displayed for historical reference.

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