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Prison Conditions and Recidivism



Type:   Article
Title:   Prison Conditions and Recidivism
Author(s):   Drago, Francesco - Università degli studi di Napoli Federico II (Author)
Galbiati, Roberto (1977-...) - Université Paris Nanterre (UPN) (Author)
Vertova, Pietro - University of Bergamo (Author)
In:   American Law and Economics Review
Date issued:   2011-02
Volume:   13
Issue:   1
Pages:   103-130  p.
ISSN:   14657252
DOI:   10.1093/aler/ahq024
Keywords:   [en] Prison conditions, Recidivism, Criminal justice system, Criminal behavior
JEL:   K42,  J18
Abstract:   [en] The authors examine the impact of prison conditions on future criminal behavior. The take over is based on a unique dataset on the post-release behavior of about twenty thousand Italian former prison inmates. The authors use variation in prison assignment as a means of identifying the effects of prison overcrowding, deaths in prison, and degree of isolation on the probability of reoffending. They do not find compellingevidence of (specific) deterrent effects of experienced prison severity. The measures of prison severity do not reduce the probability of recidivism. Instead, all point estimates suggest that harsh prison conditions increase post-release criminal activity, though they are not always precisely estimated.


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