Does a Criminal Past Predict Worker Performance? Evidence from One of America’s Largest Employers
We likewise note that, unlike the civilian context, military personnel are under surveillance at all hours, with little separation between home and work. Some criminological theory suggests that the swiftness and certainty of punishment can promote deterrence (e.g., Hawken and Kleiman 2009), in which case the round-the-clock military-style oversight may be associated with less criminal activity. At the same time, there is a long line of research in criminology pointing to the net-widening effects of increased surveillance, with increasing opportunities for detection often leading to a higher incidence of infractions, independent of actual criminality. For example, “intensive probation” programs, popularized in the 1970s and 1980s, attempted to reduce recidivism by providing more active oversight and support. In many cases, however, those in intensive supervision programs demonstrated higher recidivism rates than those under traditional probation supervision, an effect largely driven by technical violations (e.g., Petersilia and Turner 1993). In such cases, added oversight appears to increase the detection, rather than commission, of misconduct.