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Imprisonment length and post-prison employment prospects

By Anke Ramakers, Robert Apel, Paul Nieuwbeerta, Anja Dirkzwager and Johan Van Wilsem

Abstract

This study considers the relationship between imprisonment length and employment outcomes. The data are a unique prospective, longitudinal study of Dutch pretrial detainees (N = 702). All subjects thus experience prison confinement of varying lengths, although the durations are relatively short (mean = 3.8 months; median = 3.1 months). This contrasts with prior research that was limited to the study of American prison sentences spanning an average of 2 years. These data thus fill a gap in the empirical base concerning short-term confinement, which is the norm in the United States (e.g., jail incarceration) and other Western countries. Using a comprehensive array of pre-prison covariates, a propensity score methodology is used to examine the dose-response relationship between imprisonment length and a variety of employment outcomes. The results indicate that, among prison lengths less than 6 months in duration, longer confinement is largely uncorrelated with employment. In contrast, among spells in excess of 6 months, longer imprisonment length seems to worsen employment prospects. © 2014 American Society of Criminology

Topics: Employment, Imprisonment length, Propensity score methodology, The Netherlands, Law, Pathology and Forensic Medicine
Year: 2014
OAI identifier: oai:dspace.library.uu.nl:1874/305814
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