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The Effect of Collateral Consequence Laws on State Rates of Returns to Prison

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Awardee County
Prince George''s
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2012, $25,000)

The purpose of this research is to examine whether states with harsher collateral consequence laws have higher rates of returns to prison for both new crimes and technical violations. This project will address three hypotheses: (1) states that have a greater number of, and stricter, collateral consequence laws will vary in the effects that they have on rates of returns to prison; (2) that the types of collateral consequence laws will vary in the effects that they have on rates of returns to prison; and (3) that collateral consequence laws will lead to increases in technical violations of parole.

This project will create a dataset of the characteristics of state collateral consequence laws in 2004 and 2009 based on a review of these laws produced by the Legal Action Center (LAC). The data on state laws will be paired with data on returns to prison, which is drawn from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) National Prisoner Statistics (NPS) and the Annual Parole Survey. These surveys provide aggregate data for all 50 states and measure both new admissions to prison and parole exists.

The impact of state-level variations in collateral consequence laws on returns to prison will be estimated by multiple regression models for 2004 and 2009 respectively. A fixed effects analysis will also be used to measure changes within the states from 2004 to 2009. This will serve as a sensitivity test for the main analysis, and an agreement between the multiple regression analysis and the fixed effects analysis will provide greater confidence in the findings.

Date Created: August 30, 2012