Recently released prisoners in the United States are increasingly facing the burden of financial debt associated with correctional supervision, yet little research has pursued how-theoretically or empirically-the burden of debt might affect life after prison. To address this gap, we employ life course and strain perspectives and path analysis to examine the impact of child support debt on employment and recidivism, using longitudinal data from an evaluation of a prisoner reentry program known as the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative. Results indicate that having more debt has no effect on recidivism; however, more debt was significantly associated with a decrease in later legitimate employment. Implications for community reintegration and justice processing are discussed within the framework of past and emerging work on legal financial obligations, employment, and desistance from crime after prison. (Author abstract)
Longitudinal associations among child support debt, employment, and recidivism after prison
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