Policy and Professional Development in the Virtual Pub: Can Electronic Monitoring Reduce Reoffending? - ONLINE ONLY


From: Thursday October 1, 2020, 12:30 pm

To: Thursday October 1, 2020, 1:30 pm

Can electronic monitoring reduce reoffending?

This presentation showcases research evaluating electronic monitoring as an alternative to prison for non-violent offenses, drawing on data from New South Wales. Leveraging plausibly exogenous variation in sentencing outcomes generated by quasi-random assignment of judges, we find electronic monitoring reduces reoffending at both extensive and intensive margins. Compared with prison, electronic monitoring is estimated to reduce the probability of reoffending by 22 percentage points 5 years after sentencing and by 11 percentage points 10 years after sentencing, with the cumulative number of offenses reduced by 45 percent 10 years after sentencing. These results demonstrate that electronic monitoring can have sustained crime-reducing effects.

About the speaker

Jenny Williams is a Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Melbourne. She is a leading empirical economist and international expert in the area of risky health behaviours. Professor Williams’ work is multidisciplinary has been published widely in the top international economics journals including the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of Human Resources, the Journal of Applied Econometrics, and the Journal of Health Economics, as well as in articles in Demography, Addiction and the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies.

Professor Williams' work is highly policy-relevant and has been referenced in important reports such as the Cannabis Commission Report (commissioned by the Beckley Foundation), and The State of Drug Problem in Europe (EMCDDA),  the US Academy of Pediatrics' position paper on the legalisation of cannabis, and in Australian government and international reports such as the National Competition Policy Review of Tobacco Legislation commissioned by the ACT Government, the Productivity Commission Report entitled The Effects of Health and Education on Labour Force Participation and in several RAND reports. She has published survey articles for policymakers titled “Introduction to the Use of Econometrics in Informing Policy-Makers ” (Journal of Econometrics), “Limits of Current Economic Analysis of the Demand for Illicit Drug Use” (Substance Use and Misuse) and an invited paper on the potential models for legal markets for cannabis “Economic insight on Market Structure and Competition” (Addiction). Her expertise in the area of crime research was drawn on in a keynote address at the 2015 Applied Research in Crime and Justice Conference.


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