ACRE Student Fellow Presented with Research Award at SOBIE Conference

On Apr 14, 2022, ACRE student fellow Caleb Vines presented his paper “Do Barriers to Work for Justice-Impacted People Incentivize Criminal Behavior?”, co-authored by ACRE policy analyst Zachary Burt and ACRE affiliated scholar Dr. Thomas Snyder, at the Society for Business, Industry, and Economics (SOBIE) conference in Sandestin, Florida.

The paper explores the phenomenon of “hidden sentences”, also known as collateral consequences of conviction. These are de facto additional punishments justice-impacted individuals experience even after they have completed the terms of their official sentence. The abstract of the paper reads:

ACRE Student Fellow Caleb Vines (right) receives SOBIE award from Doug Barrett, Professor and Department Chair from University of North Alabama

This study explores the legal barriers created by state governments for justice-impacted individuals and how it relates to the amount of criminal behavior, unemployment, and exodus from the labor force. States vary in their number of erected barriers for individuals with a criminal background. The laws are typically in place to prevent criminal behavior, but they may backfire. The more work barriers someone with a criminal history faces, the more attractive illegal activities become. We examine differences across states in the data set provided by the National Inventory of Collateral Consequences of Conviction. We compare incarceration rates, unemployment rates, and labor force participation rates to the number of rules that affect someone with a criminal background. Our results predict that states with more collateral consequences will have higher per-capita imprisonment, higher unemployment, and lower labor force participation rates.


Vines was presented with a Student Research Award at the SOBIE conference for his presentation and work on the subject.

For questions on the subject or to read the working paper, contact Zachary Burt at