CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Friday, June 12, 2015

Kirk on Dispersing Parolees

David Kirk (University of Oxford) has posted A Natural Experiment of the Consequences of Concentrating Former Prisoners in the Same Neighborhoods (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Vol 112(22): 6943-6948, 2015) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

More than 600,000 prisoners are released from incarceration each year in the United States, and most end up residing in metropolitan areas, clustered within a select few neighborhoods. Likely consequences of this concentration of returning prisoners include higher rates of subsequent crime and recidivism. In fact, one-half of released prisoners return to prison within only 3 years of release. The routine exposure to criminogenic influences and criminal opportunities portends a bleak future for individuals who reside in neighborhoods with numerous other ex-prisoners. Through a natural experiment focused on post-Hurricane Katrina Louisiana, I examine a counterfactual scenario: if instead of concentrating ex-prisoners in geographic space, what would happen to recidivism rates if ex-prisoners were dispersed across space? Findings reveal that a decrease in the concentration of parolees in a neighborhood leads to a significant decrease in the re-incarceration rate of former prisoners.

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