This study uses a unique dataset to match probation and parole officers in Copenhagen with their clients in Denmark in 2002-2009, thus making it possible to identify any causal effects of the allocation of these officers for labor market outcomes and recidivism. The first stage of the analysis shows that the assignment of a probation or parole officer is indeed random in Copenhagen — at least with regard to the vast majority of background characteristics — suggesting that we are able to use the data to identify causal effects of probationer and parolee assignment on labour market outcomes and recidivism. The second stage of our analysis shows that, although to a lesser degree than intuition might suggest, probation and parole officers do matter for their clients’ dependency on public benefit transfers (around 10 percentage points) and criminal recidivism (around 30 percentage points), whereas earnings are unaffected.
Published in the Journal of Quantiative Criminology, Vol. 31, no. 4, pp 629-652