Does Changing Employers’ Access to Criminal Histories Affect Ex-Offenders’ Recidivism?: Evidence from the 2010–2012 Massachusetts Cori Reform

36 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2017

See all articles by Osborne Jackson

Osborne Jackson

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Bo Zhao

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Date Written: 2017-02-01

Abstract

This paper examines how changes in employers’ access to job applicants’ criminal histories affect ex-offender recidivism. We use extensive state administrative data on individual criminal histories spanning the 2010–2012 Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) Reform, widely regarded as landmark legislation governing access to individuals’ criminal information. The CORI Reform: i) banned inquiring about criminal history on initial job applications, and ii) broadened the list of groups eligible to use the state’s criminal records repository while simultaneously restricting the scope of record access. Using survival analysis and panel regressions, we generally find small reductions in recidivism resulting from each component of the CORI Reform.

Keywords: recidivism, ex-offenders, Massachusetts, CORI

JEL Classification: K14, K40, K42

Suggested Citation

Jackson, Osborne and Zhao, Bo, Does Changing Employers’ Access to Criminal Histories Affect Ex-Offenders’ Recidivism?: Evidence from the 2010–2012 Massachusetts Cori Reform (2017-02-01). FRB of Boston Working Paper No. 16-31. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2942006

Osborne Jackson (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston ( email )

600 Atlantic Avenue
Boston, MA 02210
United States

Bo Zhao

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston ( email )

600 Atlantic Avenue
T-10
Boston, MA 02210
United States
617-973-3061 (Phone)
617-619-8357 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/bozhao/

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