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Prison Work Programs with Unemployment Insurance: Generating Tax Revenue and Less Crime

Author

Listed:
  • Robert Baumann

    () (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)

  • Bryan Engelhardt

    () (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)

  • Megan Morgano

    (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)

Abstract

Prison-based work programs as well as income payments to released prisoners are both potential ways to reduce recidivism. Currently, these two components are loosely connected as prisoners who participate in work programs save, voluntarily or as a requirement, a fraction of their earnings and spend it after they are released. Alternatively, we propose prisoners pay into an unemployment insurance fund, be paid unemployment benefits after release up to the amount they paid into the system, and forgo remaining payments if re-incarcerated. Money paid into the system and lost due to recidivism can be kept by the government.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Baumann & Bryan Engelhardt & Megan Morgano, 2011. "Prison Work Programs with Unemployment Insurance: Generating Tax Revenue and Less Crime," Working Papers 1113, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hcx:wpaper:1113
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    File URL: http://web.holycross.edu/RePEc/hcx/HC1113-Baumann-Engelhardt_PrisonWork.pdf
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corrections-Based Work Programs; Recidivism; Unemployment Benefits;

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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