Serving Time or Serving the Community? Exploiting a Policy Reform to Assess the Causal Effects of Community Service on Income, Social Benefit Dependency and Recidivism

The Rockwool Foundation Research Unit. Study Paper No. 37

By Signe Hald Andersen

Among criminologists, judges, and the like, there is a widespread belief that criminals are better off serving non-custodial sentences instead of going to prison. However, empirical evidence of the effects of community service is scarce. Based on Danish research, this study paper examines a policy reform that implemented the use of community service as punishment among specific groups of criminals in order to assess the causal effect of community service on post-sentence income, dependency on social benefits, and crime.


30 pages

Publication Date: 1/23/2012
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9788790199630