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The Journal of the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at The George Washington University


The correctional system in the United States is expensive and often punitive rather than rehabilitative. One potential way to reduce both recidivism rates and criminal justice spending is through correctional education. This paper explores the value of correctional education through both neoclassical and behavioral economic perspectives and considers potential tradeoffs and implementation challenges to expanding correctional education. Policymakers and the public at large may hesitate to provide such a service, but it is important to consider cost-effective ways to reduce recidivism. Ultimately, evidence suggests that correctional education is an effective way to reduce recidivism rates and potentially save money.

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