Bad Ink: Visible Tattoos and Recidivism

33 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2014

See all articles by Kaitlyn Harger

Kaitlyn Harger

West Virginia University; Florida Gulf Coast University

Date Written: September 22, 2014

Abstract

This study examines whether tattoo visibility affects recidivism length of ex-offenders. Conventional wisdom suggests that visible tattoos may negatively influence employment outcomes. Additionally, research on recidivism argues that employment post-release is a main determinant of reductions in recidivism. Taken together, these two bodies of literature suggest there may be a relationship between tattoos visible in the workplace and recidivism of released inmates. Using data from the Florida Department of Corrections, I estimate a log-logistic survival model and compare estimated survival length for inmates with and without visible tattoos. The findings suggest that inmates with visible tattoos return to incarceration faster than those without tattoos or with tattoos easily hidden by clothing.

Keywords: Recidivism, Tattoos, Survival Analysis, Crime

JEL Classification: J00, J60, J71

Suggested Citation

Harger, Kaitlyn, Bad Ink: Visible Tattoos and Recidivism (September 22, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2499502 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2499502

Kaitlyn Harger (Contact Author)

West Virginia University ( email )

PO Box 6025
Morgantown, WV 26506
United States

Florida Gulf Coast University ( email )

10485 FGCU Blvd S
Ft. Myers, FL 33965-6565
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
413
Abstract Views
1,894
rank
78,086
PlumX Metrics