Measuring the Causal Effects of Probation/Parole Officer Supervision on Labor Market Outcomes and Recidivism

Lars H. Andersen, Rockwool Foundation Research Unit and University of Copenhagen

Little is known about the effects of probation and parole officers on their clients. This paper uses a unique dataset to pair all probation and parole officers and their clients in Denmark in 2006-2009, with the end goal of identifying causal effects of officer supervision on labor market outcomes and recidivism. In order to identify these causal effects, we rely on data from all probationers and parolees in the city of Copenhagen, Denmark where a rotational assignment process effectively randomizes clients to probation/parole officers. We show that the assignment is indeed random, suggesting that we will be able to identify causal effects of probationer and parolee assignment on labor market outcomes and recidivism. As no previous study has yet to identify such causal effects, this study makes a novel contribution to the literature on the effects of criminal justice contact on the life-course.

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Presented in Session 83: Using Linked Data from Separate Sources