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Sentencing credit laws provide opportunities for inmates to gain a reduction in their prison sentence, and such laws have at least four intended goals: 1) reducing prison populations; 2) promoting prosocial behavior during imprisonment by offering inmates incentive for good behavior and/or deterring them from engaging in antisocial behavior; 3) reducing recidivism by providing offenders incentive for good behavior and participation in rehabilitative programming; and, 4) lowering correctional costs (Lawrence & Lyons, 2011; Weisburd & Chayet, 1989).

The state of Nebraska currently has a sentencing credit law that automatically awards good time credits to inmates. The study described in this report involved an examination of the administration and effects of the state of Nebraska’s good time law. The specific research questions that were addressed included:

1. What are the relative effects of incident characteristics (e.g., type of violation) and inmate characteristics (e.g., age) on prison officials’ decisions to remove good time credits?

2. What is the effect of losing good time credits on inmates’ subsequent misconduct?

3. What is the effect of losing good time credits on inmates’ odds of recidivism?



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