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Begging for Crime? The Effect of State Laws Restricting Access to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families on Unsuccessful Completion of Parole

NCJ Number
Crime & Delinquency Dated: August 2021
T. Sohoni; S. Piatkowska
Date Published
August 2021

We conduct a fixed effects analysis on laws that ban Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to former offenders and state rates of unsuccessful parole completion between 1994 and 2016.



Transitioning from prison to the community can pose significant hardships as returning individuals seek to support themselves while searching for work and housing. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is one potential service that can help ease this transition; however, in numerous states TANF is not available to many former offenders. We find that states that imposed restrictions on TANF saw an increase in state rates of unsuccessful parole completion. Furthermore, we find no significant difference between full bans and partial bans of TANF, indicating that even partial bans may undermine efforts to successfully reintegrate former offenders. (Publisher Abstract Provided)