Arkansas policy makers are aware of their state’s high criminal recidivism rates (the percentage of released prisoners that reoffend). The criminal justice reforms in Arkansas have also indicated that policy makers know the key determinant in reducing criminal recidivism rates: employed ex-prisoners reoffend at a substantially lower rate than unemployed ex-prisoners do. However, an important reform in Arkansas has been missing: the reduction of occupational licensing burdens. This study investigates the relationship between occupational licensing and criminal recidivism.
Arkansas Center for Research in Economics