Post-Prison Parole Supervision, the Transition to Adulthood, and Inequality

How can parole policies be modified to reduce racial inequalities in post-prison outcomes for young adults?

Recent years have seen an increase in the number of individuals on parole and probation, as well as in the intensity of this monitoring. These changes have been especially consequential for Black males, who are disproportionately incarcerated. Harding is investigating whether parole policies regarding re-entry, supervision, electronic monitoring, and substance abuse treatment reduce or exacerbate disparities for African American males. With prior support from the National Science Foundation, Harding and his colleagues have collected administrative data on 1,363 18–25 year olds paroled from Michigan prisons in 2003, who were followed until 2009. This grant enables the team to clean, code, and analyze additional data on parole supervision and programming, parole violations, and sanctions. Harding and his team will study cross-county variation in the application of parole policies to determine whether policy differences are linked to variation in young adults’ educational, employment, and family outcomes.

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