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The Effectiveness of Juvenile Correctional Facilities: Public versus Private Management

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Author Info

  • Bayer, Patrick
  • Pozen, David E

Abstract

This paper uses data on juvenile offenders released from correctional facilities in Florida to explore the effects of facility management type (private for-profit, private nonprofit, public state-operated, and public county-operated) on recidivism outcomes and costs. The data provide detailed information on individual characteristics, criminal and correctional histories, judge-assigned restrictiveness levels, and home zip codes--allowing us to control for the nonrandom assignment of individuals to facilities far better than any previous study. Relative to all other management types, for-profit management leads to a statistically significant increase in recidivism, but relative to nonprofit and state-operated facilities, for-profit facilities operate at a lower cost to the government per comparable individual released. Cost-benefit analysis implies that the short-run savings offered by for-profit over nonprofit management are negated in the long run due to increased recidivism rates, even if one measures the benefits of reducing criminal activity as only the avoided costs of additional confinement.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 48 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 549-89

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:y:2005:v:48:i:2:p:549-89

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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/

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Cited by:
  1. Lindqvist, Erik, 2011. "Planned treatment and outcomes in residential youth care: Evidence from Sweden," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 21-27, January.
  2. Andersson, Fredrik & Jordahl, Henrik, 2011. "Outsourcing Public Services: Ownership, Competition, Quality and Contracting," Working Papers 2011:20, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  3. Yazzie, Rebecca A., 2011. "Availability of treatment to youth offenders: Comparison of public versus private programs from a national census," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 804-809, June.
  4. Hall, Maximilian J.B. & Liu, Wenbin B. & Simper, Richard & Zhou, Zhongbao, 2013. "The economic efficiency of rehabilitative management in young offender institutions in England and Wales," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 38-49.
  5. Patrick Bayer & Randi Hjalmarsson & David Pozen, 2007. "Building Criminal Capital behind Bars: Peer Effects in Juvenile Corrections," NBER Working Papers 12932, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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