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The Quality of Life in Prisons: Do Educational Programs Reduce In-prison Conflicts?

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  • María Laura Alzúa

    (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - FCE - UNLP y CONICET)

  • Catherine Rodriguez

    (Universidad de los Andes)

  • Edgar Villa

    (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana)

Abstract

The harshness of punishment society chooses to impose on crime offenders is mandated by law. However, the quality of life in prison can make this punishment harsher. This creates a variation in the severity of punishment which is not legislated and may differ from society's taste for penalties. Indicators of in prison violence and conflicts seem to be appropriate proxy variables for prison conditions. Using indicators of in prison violent behavior, we use an exogenous source in education participation in educational programs in order to asses the effect of education on such measures of conflict. Applying instrumental variables techniques to census data for Argentine prisons, we find that educational programs significantly reduce indicators of property damages in prison. Such reductions amounts to a 60 percent decrease relative to the mean level of property damages.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata in its series CEDLAS, Working Papers with number 0091.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dls:wpaper:0091

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Web page: http://cedlas.econo.unlp.edu.ar/
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Keywords: Quality of life; prison; conflict; educational programs; education;

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  1. Rafael Di Tella & Juan Dubra, 2006. "Crime and Punishment in the "American Dream"," NBER Working Papers 12641, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. John H. Tyler & Jeffrey R. Kling, 2006. "Prison-Based Education and Re-Entry into the Mainstream Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 12114, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Lawrence Katz & Steven D. Levitt & Ellen Shustorovich, 2003. "Prison Conditions, Capital Punishment, and Deterrence," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 318-343, August.
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