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Is Employment Associated With Reduced Recidivism?: The Complex Relationship Between Employment and Crime

NCJ Number
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology Volume: 54 Issue: 5 Dated: October 2010 Pages: 706-720
Stephen J. Tripodi; Johnny S. Kim; Kimberly Bender
Date Published
October 2010
15 pages
This study explored the role of employment in reducing the risk of recidivism.
This article explores the association between employment and recidivism for parolees released from Texas prisons. Along with determining whether obtaining employment on release from prison is associated with decreased odds of reincarceration, this article analyzes whether obtaining employment is associated with increased time to reincarceration. Proportional hazard models were used to examine the effect of employment on reincarceration over time. This analysis allowed a unique view of desistance from crime as a process of behavioral change with multiple stages. Results generally support this perspective, finding that although obtaining employment is not associated with a significant decrease in likelihood of reincarceration, it is associated with significantly greater time to reincarceration. Thus, among parolees who are reincarcerated, those who obtain employment spend more time crime-free in the community before returning to prison. This article argues that increased time crime-free is an indicator of positive behavior change that should be supplemented with clinical interventions to help formerly incarcerated persons maintain the initial motivation associated with employment. Tables, figures, and references (Published Abstract)