A Plan for Evaluating the Displacement Effects of Alternative-to-Incarceration Programs in New York City


The previous work on diversion and displacement focused on ATI placements and used information about the past to make inferences about the present or predictions about the future. Our research will use an alternative approach. By comparing the sentences of groups entering the system at the same time, we will analyze the displacement effect of the City’s ATI system as a whole. This will include the City’s targeting of individuals likely to receive the intended jail or prison terms, review of their cases, placement of some into ATIs and the provision of services to them. The method is simple, yet powerful. The research will inform the City whether its ATI system is worth the cost and effort—whether the system diverts people from jail and prison, and does so efficiently and without selection bias.