Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $137,061)
A significant body of research suggests that employment and education are keys to successful prisoner re-entry in the community. Research on employment and education outcomes indicates that criminal justice involvement may unintentionally cause harm. Efforts to reduce the negative employment and education consequences of official sanctions may reduce the likelihood of recidivism and encourage successful transitions to adulthood. Using the first eight waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, a nationally representative survey begun in 1997 with a sample of 8,984 youth aged 12 to 16 at year-end 1996, the grantee proposes to assess the effects of criminal justice involvement on employment and education. The grantee will use three distinct statistical methods. First, they will conduct a within-individual, before-and-after analysis (fixed-effects model). Second, using the rich background data and propensity score matching, they will compare individuals who appear most similar on all relevant variables, excepting justice system involvement (propensity score matching). Finally, they will match individuals based on multi-year patterns of offending prior to criminal justice involvement (group-based trajectory matching).