Pro Bono Engagement: New York Initiative for Children of Incarcerated Parents

Stout was retained to perform a cost-benefit analysis related to a bill that is being proposed to the New York State Senate.  The bill relates to the initiation of a pilot project (the “Proximity Pilot”) that would relocate one hundred incarcerated mothers and fathers of minor children to correctional facilities located in the closest proximity to the residence of those children.  The goal of the Proximity Pilot is to enable visitation between parents and children (as well as other family/friends) in order to maintain ties during their incarceration.   Research indicates that incarcerated individuals who maintain ties during incarceration tend to have lower rates of recidivism and visiting supports the well-being of most children of incarcerated parents.  The analysis focused specifically on the cost/benefit to the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (“DOCCS”).  The analysis weighed the expected cost to DOCCS of implementing and monitoring the Proximity Pilot for three years against the expected financial benefit to DOCCS resulting from lower recidivism rates for those in the Proximity Pilot.  Stout constructed an economic model and determined that the present value of the net benefit would amount to approximately $42,000.  Furthermore, Stout performed multiple sensitivity analyses to illustrate how the net benefit would change if certain variables/assumption were modified.  The results of the analysis are expected to be used by the bill’s sponsor to gain support and win approval for the bill.

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