Custodial Parole Sanctions and Earnings after Release from Prison
With regard to inequality, an important limitation of the extensive literature on incarceration is that it focuses almost exclusively on the effects of imprisonment (Western 2006, Lyons and Pettit 2011, National Research Council 2014), neglecting the potential effects of related custodial sanctions – short-term jail spells, technical rule violator centers, or custodial reentry programs – which are alternatives to prison for parole or probation violators. For example, brief custodial sanctions for probation violators are one of the key features of the much touted but still controversial Project HOPE program (Kleiman et al 2014, Cullen et al 2014), but the labor market consequences of such sanctions have not been investigated. More generally, given the high rates at which former prisoners cycle in and out of short-term custody, identifying whether custodial alternatives to prison interfere with the ability of individuals to find and maintain work is critical to understanding how criminal justice system involvement shapes labor market outcomes. Moreover, because most prisoners are released onto parole, custodial parole sanctions may be one of the mechanisms through which imprisonment affects labor market outcomes.