NBER Working Papers and Publications
|August 2010||Improving Employment Prospects for Former Prison Inmates: Challenges and Policy|
in Controlling Crime: Strategies and Tradeoffs, Philip Cook, Jens Ludwig, Justin McCrary, editors
|April 2010||Improving Employment Prospects for Former Prison Inmates: Challenges and Policy|
This paper analyzes the employment prospects of former prison inmates and reviews recent evaluations of reentry programs that either aim to improve employment among the formerly incarcerated or aim to reduce recidivism through treatment interventions centered on employment. I present an empirical portrait of the U.S. prison population and prison releases using nationally representative survey data. I characterize the personal traits of state and federal prison inmates, including their level of educational attainment and age as well as the health and mental health issues that occur with high frequency among this population. I then turn to the demand side of this particular segment of the U.S. labor market. Using a 2003 survey of California establishments, I characterize employers' prefe...