Should Government Go It Alone or With a Partner? A Comparison of Outcomes from a Work Release Program Using Different Policy Tools

Haeil Jung, Deanna Malatesta, Robert J. LaLonde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article compares labor market outcomes from two different approaches to a work release program in Illinois: direct provision by a government and a purchase-of-service (POS) contract between government and a public charity. Significantly better employment and earnings outcomes were associated with the POS contract. To better understand the reasons for the success of the POS contract, the authors further examined the specific terms of the contract, organizational expertise, and the political context of POS contracts. The results are organized according to the main theoretical assertions. Findings add to the weight of evidence that contractors, like public charities, can be valuable government partners for addressing challenging social policies and programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-555
Number of pages11
JournalPublic Administration Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul 1


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing

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