First Advisor

Christopher Campbell

Term of Graduation

Spring 2022

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Criminology and Criminal Justice


Criminology and Criminal Justice





Physical Description

1 online resource (iii, 38 pages)


One out of every 22 adults in Philadelphia, PA is under community supervision which is more the double the national average (Schiraldi, 2018). Even though probation has been seen as a more lenient alternative to prison it actually serves as a net-widener (Phelps, 2020). Probation can result in increased punishments for low-level offenses when failure to meet probation conditions results in jail or prison time when there was never a possibility of long-term incarceration at the time of sentencing (Phelps, 2020). This study uses public court information data from Philadelphia to analyze the effects different dosages of probation have on recidivism through propensity score matching. Analysis of 451 individuals on probation in Philadelphia indicates that a dose of 3 years of probation is more effective at reducing the odds of recidivism than a sentence of up to 2.5 years of probation. The dose of 3 years of probation was the only dose that showed a significant decrease in the odds of recidivism. The other doses had similar recidivism rates as the average across the city. The results of this study show the need for future studies to expand on research about dosage of probation.


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