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Desistance and Legitimacy: The Impact of Offender Notification Meetings on Recidivism Among High Risk Offenders

40 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2013 Last revised: 8 May 2013

Andrew V. Papachristos

Yale University - Department of Sociology

Danielle M. Wallace

Arizona State University (ASU)

Tracey L. Meares

Yale University - Law School

Jeffrey Fagan

Columbia Law School

Date Written: March 27, 2013

Abstract

Objective: Legitimacy-based approaches to crime prevention operate under the assumption that individuals — including violent offenders — are more likely to comply with the law when they believe that the law and its agents are legitimate and act in ways that seem inherently “fair” and “just.” While mounting evidence finds an association between such legitimacy-based programs and reductions in aggregate levels of crime and violence, no study has investigated whether such programs influence individual offending. This study evaluates the effectiveness of one such program — Project Safe Neighborhoods’ (PSN) Offender Notification Meetings — at reducing individual recidivism among a population of returning prisoners in Chicago.

Methods: This study uses a quasi-experimental design and two types of survival analyses (Cox hazard models and competing risk models) to evaluate the effects of PSN on the subsequent recidivism of program participants relative to the control group.

Results: Cox hazard models and competing risk models suggest that involvement in PSN significantly reduces the risk of subsequent incarceration. In fact, participation in PSN Offender Notification Forums is associated with a significant lengthening of the time that offenders remain on the street and out of prison.

Conclusion: This study provides some of the first individual-level evidence of the efficacy of such programs on patterns of individual offending. Results suggest that interventions such as these do indeed reduce rates of recidivism in the treatment group.

Keywords: legitimacy, recidivism, Project Safe Neighborhoods

Suggested Citation

Papachristos, Andrew V. and Wallace, Danielle M. and Meares, Tracey L. and Fagan, Jeffrey, Desistance and Legitimacy: The Impact of Offender Notification Meetings on Recidivism Among High Risk Offenders (March 27, 2013). Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 13-343; Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 469. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2240232 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2240232

Andrew V. Papachristos (Contact Author)

Yale University - Department of Sociology ( email )

493 College St
New Haven, CT 06520
United States

HOME PAGE: http://papachristos.org

Danielle M. Wallace

Arizona State University (ASU) ( email )

Farmer Building 440G PO Box 872011
Tempe, AZ 85287
United States

Tracey Louise Meares

Yale University - Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States
203-432-4074 (Phone)
203-432-4876 (Fax)

Jeffrey Fagan

Columbia Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States
212-854-2624 (Phone)
212-854-7946 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.columbia.edu/fac/Jeffrey_Fagan

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