The impact of residential change and housing stability on recidivism: pilot results from the Maryland Opportunities through Vouchers Experiment (MOVE)
JournalJournal of Experimental Criminology
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AbstractObjectives: This article provides a description and preliminary assessment of the Maryland Opportunities through Vouchers Experiment (MOVE), a randomized housing mobility program for former prisoners designed to test whether residential relocation far away from former neighborhoods, incentivized through the provision of a housing subsidy, can yield reductions in recidivism. Methods: The MOVE program was implemented as a randomized controlled trial. Participants were recruited from four different Maryland prisons and randomly assigned to experimental groups. In the first iteration of the experiment, treatment group participants received 6 months of free housing away from their home jurisdiction and control group participants received free housing back in their home jurisdiction. In the second iteration of the experiment, the treatment group remained the same and the control condition was redesigned to represent the status quo and did not receive free housing. Analyses were conducted of one-year rearrest rates. Results: With respect to reductions in recidivism, pilot results suggest that there is some benefit to moving and a benefit to receiving free housing. Rearrest was lower among the treatment group of movers than the non-movers, and was also lower for non-movers who received free housing versus non-movers who did not receive housing. Conclusions: To the extent that pilot results can be validated and replicated in a full-scale implementation of the MOVE program, policies that provide greater access to housing assistance for formerly incarcerated individuals may yield substantial public safety benefits, particularly housing opportunities located far away from former neighborhoods. Copyright 2017, The Author(s).
SponsorsAcknowledgements Research reported in this publication was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R03HD081515. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. We relied heavily upon the dedicated employees of the Maryland Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services to implement the program, and are grateful for their support. The findings presented in this report do not reflect the views of the DPSCS or its constituent agencies. We are also grateful to Maurice Gadsden and Jim Evans of Quadel Consulting for their assistance implementing the housing component of the program. We thank Andrew Krebs, Riley Taiji, and Giacomo Vagni for research assistance.
KeywordCollateral consequences of incarceration
Randomized controlled trial
Identifier to cite or link to this itemhttps://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85038112808&doi=10.1007%2fs11292-017-9317-z&partnerID=40&md5=1f7639af8ac143de1cff390deb698ce2; http://hdl.handle.net/10713/8941