Stricter Community Supervision, More Recidivism? An Ego-Depletion Theory


Can stricter community supervision (i.e., parole and probation) requirements lead to an increase in recidivism? I investigate this question by constructing a law enforcement model in which individuals can incur costs to increase their degree of self-control. The analysis reveals that stricter community supervision can, in fact, increase recidivism if these investments lead to ego-depletion. This possibility therefore warrants empirical investigation, and policy makers ought to be mindful of it when determining the strictness of community supervision conditions.