Recidivism and the Labor Market for Ex-Convicts: Evidence from New York State "Ban-the-Box"

Awarded Scholars:
Morgan Williams, Jr. , New York University
Project Date:
May 2019
Award Amount:

The successful reentry of formerly incarcerated individuals hinges on their ability to secure work. However, many face significant challenges in obtaining legitimate employment—with studies finding that 60-75 percent of formerly incarcerated workers remain jobless up to one year after their release. This project will compare the post-release experiences of individuals leaving jails in several large counties throughout New York State before and after the passage of various ban-the-box (BTB) laws. It evaluates the impact of these laws in two ways. First, matching jail discharge information with other criminal justice data allows us to assess whether any fundamental changes in recidivism rates took place in the post-BTB period. Second, matching jail discharge information to wages and employment data allows us to examine the extent to which BTB laws influenced important labor market outcomes.


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