Title

Prison Work Programs with Unemployment Insurance: Generating Tax Revenue and Less Crime

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of This Version

10-1-2011

Abstract

Prison-based work programs as well as income payments to released prisoners are both potential ways to reduce recidivism. Currently, these two components are loosely connected as prisoners who participate in work programs save, voluntarily or as a requirement, a fraction of their earnings and spend it after they are released. Alternatively, we propose prisoners pay into an unemployment insurance fund, be paid unemployment benefits after release up to the amount they paid into the system, and forgo remaining payments if re-incarcerated. Money paid into the system and lost due to recidivism can be kept by the government.

Working Paper Number

1113

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