Date of Award

2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Criminal Justice

Abstract

This study explored the effect of time spent incarcerated on recidivism among a sample of individuals released from IDOC facilities from 2011 to 2014 (N = 72,716). Gang members were compared to non-gang members in order to evaluate the potentially heterogeneous nature of the effect of length of stay on recidivism within the competing frameworks of deterrence theory and social learning theory. The samples were further split into separate analyses based on the current felony class, and length of stay was operationalized as incarceration in months and split into quartiles based on the distribution of each felony class sample. The results indicate that the effect of length of incarceration on recidivism is dependent not only on gang affiliation but also on felony class. Ultimately, these findings indicate that the effect of length of incarceration on recidivism is too heterogeneous to draw any universal conclusions that can reliably inform sentencing policy.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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Criminology Commons

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