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The Effectiveness of Juvenile Correctional Facilities: Public versus Private Management

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  • Patrick Bayer

    ()
    (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

  • David E. Pozen

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 zipcodes—allowing us to control for the non-random 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. Costbenefit 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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File URL: http://www.econ.yale.edu/growth_pdf/cdp863.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 863.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2003
Date of revision: Nov 2004
Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:863

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Related research

Keywords: Juvenile Crime; Juvenile Correctional Facilities; Recidivism; Prison Privatization; Provision of Public Goods: Nonprofit; For-profit; Public;

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Andersson, Fredrik & Jordahl, Henrik, 2011. "Outsourcing Public Services: Ownership, Competition, Quality and Contracting," Working Paper Series 874, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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