The United States incarcerates a higher fraction of its population than any other country in the world. Recent trends, including the election of “progressive prosecutors” to a rhetoric of opposition to “mass incarceration,” suggest momentum to reduce the size and alter the composition of our incarcerated population. Is this trend desirable? And if it is, can it be sustained against the likely return of a “tough on crime” political rhetoric? A partial answer to both questions lies in producing credible evidence of the comparative costs and benefits of incarceration versus alternatives, such as community supervision. This talk will discuss, and seek feedback on, a series of randomized field experiments designed to produce such evidence, highlighting the behavioral features include in the programs to which incarceration will be compared.
Speakers and Presenters