Criminal Rehabilitation, Incapacitation, and Aging

39 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2012 Last revised: 8 Mar 2012

Peter Ganong

Harvard University

Date Written: December 1, 2011

Abstract

In April 1993, Georgia instituted new parole guidelines that led to longer prison terms for parole-eligible offenders. This paper shows that an extra year of prison reduces the three-year recidivism rate by 6 percentage points (14 percent); and the benefits of preventing this crime are likely outweighed by the costs of this additional incarceration.

I develop a new econometric framework to jointly estimate the effects of rehabilitation, incapacitation, and aging in reducing crime. Estimates of incapacitation effects using existing methodologies are biased upward by at least a factor of two because they focus on a short time horizon.

JEL Classification: J0, K14

Suggested Citation

Ganong, Peter, Criminal Rehabilitation, Incapacitation, and Aging (December 1, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1965049 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1965049

Peter Ganong (Contact Author)

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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