Bad Ink: Visible Tattoos and Recidivism
33 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2014
Date Written: September 22, 2014
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: Suggested Citation