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Something Works: Misconduct and Recidivism Effects of the IGNITE Program

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Grant Recipient: Harvard University

Principal Investigator(s): Marcella Alsan, Peter Hull, Crystal Yang

Term: 2024

Funding: $29,625

Summary: We estimate the effects of an innovative law-enforcement-led educational program in the county jail serving Flint, Michigan: Inmate Growth Naturally and Intentionally Through Education (IGNITE). To do so, we develop a novel instrumental variables approach based on quasi-random trial delays which cause individuals to spend more time in jail both pre- and post-IGNITE. We find that time in IGNITE significantly reduces misconduct in jail and subsequent recidivism. 

We are collecting administrative and survey evidence to assess the relative importance of education vs. cultural change within jail as key mechanisms for our results.