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
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.
Publication Date: 1/23/2012