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State-Mandated Criminal Background Employment Screening: A High Stakes Window into the Desistance Process

Award Information

Award #
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Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2012, $706,943)

In this study, the grantee will partner closely with New York's Department of Health (DOH) and its Division of Criminal Justice Services to study the question of redemption desistance within the context of an actual employment decision (a job as a long term health care worker) and will specifically address five research questions: - How well can we identify desisters using past criminal history records? - What factors besides time since last offense can be used to identify individuals with criminal records who are nonetheless indistinguishable from non-offenders in terms of risk of rearrest? - Does the government sealing of criminal records have a causal impact on the hiring decision and subsequent behavior of the individual with the criminal history record? - What role does the offer of employment make to the future earnings and offending of individuals with criminal history records? Research Subjects: The primary sample will consist of all persons who applied and were considered suitable for employment with a health care agency subject to Article 28-E background checks during 2008 and 2009. The sample size is estimated to be 300,000. Research Design and Methods: Quasi-experimental design for two causal studies of desistance (impact on employment prospects vis-à-vis sealing criminal records) and whether denial of long term care employment by DOH impacts desistance rates. ca/ncf
Date Created: August 30, 2012