Corrections Worker Safety and Free Communications in Prisons

Publication Date


Grant Type

Early Career Research Award


Corrections workers experience far greater amounts of workplace violence than any other occupation. Yet, no causal evidence exists to date on how changes to the workplace environment (i.e., prisons) might improve employee safety. In this study, we partner with and propose to evaluate the largest non-profit led effort to offer free communication technology to incarcerated individuals, and its impact on changes in the amount of prison infractions, and specifically prisoner on staff assaults. We use data from Iowa and Colorado, where hundreds of prisoner on staff assaults occur per year, and we apply a staggered difference-in-differences estimate reflecting the rollout of the policy.