Tami Gurley-Calvez

Welfare reform and juvenile arrests

Social policy, such as the legalization of abortion and the federal bans on lead in the 1970s, has been shown to significantly impact crime rates. With recent increases in juvenile arrests and violent crime rates, we explore whether further social policy—namely the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) welfare reform—has had an impact on crime. Our results suggest that stricter work requirements experienced by 13 to 15 year-olds increase their violent crime activity 2 to 4 years later.