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The determinants of recidivism among ex-prisoners: a survival analysis on French data

  • Benjamin Monnery

    (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France)

This article explores the main determinants of the hazard of recidivism among ex-prisoners.We use a nationally-representative sample of prisoners released in 1996-1997 in France, drawnfrom a 5-year follow-up survey run by the French correctional administration. We estimate semiparametric duration models which deal with violations of the proportional hazards hypothesis. Our results confirm the importance of gender, age, nationality, access to employment and prior convictions on recidivism within five years after release from prison. We also find significant differences in hazards of recidivism by type of initial offense, penal status at entry, and type of release (early release under parole, etc.), while controlling for prison fixed effects. Finally, our study casts doubt on the influence of certain variables (marital status at entry, education, homelessness) and on the effectiveness of semi-liberté as a way to prevent recidivism.

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Paper provided by Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure in its series Working Papers with number 1320.

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Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gat:wpaper:1320
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  1. van Winden Frans A.A.M. & Ash Elliott, 2012. "On the Behavioral Economics of Crime," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 181-213, June.
  2. Peter Schmidt & Ann Dryden Witte, 1987. "Predicting Criminal Recidivism Using "Split Population" Survival Time Models," NBER Working Papers 2445, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Rafael Di Tella & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2009. "Criminal Recidivism after Prison and Electronic Monitoring," NBER Working Papers 15602, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jesse M. Shapiro, 2007. "Do Harsher Prison Conditions Reduce Recidivism? A Discontinuity-based Approach," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 1-29.
  5. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Drago, Francesco & Galbiati, Roberto & Vertova, Pietro, 2007. "The Deterrent Effects of Prison: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 2912, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Francesco Drago & Roberto Galbiati, 2012. "Indirect Effects of a Policy Altering Criminal Behavior: Evidence from the Italian Prison Experiment," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/53r60a8s3ku, Sciences Po.
  8. 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.
  9. Maurin, Eric & Ouss, Aurelie, 2009. "Sentence Reductions and Recidivism: Lessons from the Bastille Day Quasi Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 3990, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Gregory DeAngelo & Gary Charness, 2012. "Deterrence, expected cost, uncertainty and voting: Experimental evidence," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 73-100, February.
  11. Bowles, Roger Arthur & Florackis, Chrisostomos, 2007. "Duration of the time to reconviction: Evidence from UK prisoner discharge data," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 365-378.
  12. Charles F. Manski, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 7580, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Drago, Francesco & Galbiati, Roberto & Vertova, Pietro, 2008. "Prison Conditions and Recidivism," IZA Discussion Papers 3395, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Torbjørn Skardhamar & Kjetil Telle, 2009. "Life after prison The relationship between employment and re-incarceration," Discussion Papers 597, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
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