Richard Hahn, a CCJS doctoral candidate, has been awarded the prestigious Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Fellowship for the 2024-2025 academic year. The fellowship provides full-time support for a semester to University of Maryland doctoral candidates who are in the latter stages of writing their dissertations.

Richard’s dissertation, "Punishment as a Tool for Behavioral Change: New Evidence from Novel Parole Programs," will explore the efficacy of innovative parole initiatives in reducing recidivism rates in the United States.

Traditional parole systems often rely on harsh punishments, contributing to high rates of re-offending. Richard's research examines programs that propose milder, consistent penalties to empower individuals on parole while reducing the number of people returned to prison for parole violations. By analyzing data and conducting field research, he aims to identify effective strategies for breaking the cycle of crime and incarceration.

“The ways we have traditionally thought about punishment are outdated and uncreative. Thankfully, dedicated public servants across the country have realize the need for responses to unwanted behaviors that nudge people onto a better path rather than cudgel them with lifelong consequences. I’m happy to work with parole agents and their managers to evaluate tools meant to right-size punishments and reduce the pains associated with the criminal justice system. And I’m grateful to the University for their support of this important mission. Only when we have done all that we can to provide people with the opportunity to live full, rewarding lives can we move Fearlessly Forward.”

Headshot of Richard Hahn