Neighborhoods, Recidivism and Employment among Returning Prisoners
Date:  05-16-2014

Report finds neighborhoods parolees return to are predictors of recidivism and employment outcome
The National Institute of Justice provides a summary of the report Neighborhoods, Recidivism and Employment Among Returning Prisoners below. The complete report can be read here.

"Jeffrey Morenoff and David Harding of the University of Michigan examined the association between neighborhood context and the outcomes related to recidivism and employment among a cohort of prisoners released from Michigan state prisons in 2003 (award number 2008-IJ-CX-00018).

Returning to a more disadvantaged neighborhood was associated with higher risks of absconding and returning to prison for a technical violation, a lower risk of being arrested, and more adverse labor market outcomes, including less employment and lower wages. Cumulative exposure to disadvantaged neighborhoods was associated with lower employment and wages but not related to recidivism. Returning to a more affluent neighborhood was associated with a lower risk of being arrested, absconding, and returning to prison on a technical violation, and more positive labor market outcomes, including greater employment and wages. Being employed substantially reduced the risk of all recidivism outcomes, but there was no evidence that employment mediated the association between neighborhoods and recidivism.

Taken together, these results suggest that the neighborhoods parolees experience during parole were strong predictors of recidivism and labor market outcomes, but there is not a simple answer to the question of what neighborhood characteristics constitute "risky" environments for parolees. This project was the first to assemble and analyze a rich dataset of administrative records on individual parolees and to link these records with data on neighborhood context."