Pretrial justice reform and black–white difference in employment

Jung K. Kim, Yumi Koh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


While criminal justice reforms aimed at reducing the size of pretrial detainee population are being implemented across the U.S., little is known about their impact on the labour market. Using difference-in-differences approach, we find that the 2017 New Jersey Criminal Justice Reform increased the employment probability among blacks in their prime working age (i.e. 25–54) by 4.2 to 6.8 percentage points; its effect among whites is negligible. Labour force participation, full-time job status, and working hours among blacks also increased. Our findings suggest that individuals not detained pretrial are absorbed by the formal labour market and that this contributes to an overall increase in employment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1396-1414
Number of pages19
JournalApplied Economics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2022


  • New Jersey criminal justice reform
  • employment
  • monetary bail
  • pretrial release
  • race
  • risk based assessment


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