Residential Migration as a Solution to the Drug Overdose Epidemic

David Kirk , University of Oxford

This study uses Hurricane Katrina as a natural experiment to determine whether residential relocation induced by the hurricane affected the likelihood of reincarceration among drug dependent former prisoners. The study draws upon prisoner data provided by the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, including information on place of residence pre- and post-prison, drug dependence, and reincarceration. The pre-Katrina cohort is comprised of individuals released from Louisiana prisons from September 2003 to February 2004 who had a history of drug abuse. The post-Katrina cohort is comprised of releases from a Louisiana prison immediately after the hurricane, from September 2005 to February 2006. Instrumental variables analysis reveals that the probability of reincarceration is 0.10 lower for individuals who relocated to a new parish upon their exit from prison. An estimated 10 percent of parolees who moved were reincarcerated within one year of release from prison versus 20 percent of the stayers.

See paper

 Presented in Session 4. Migration and Health/Well-being