Date of this Version
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) was enacted in August of 1996, causing a major transformation in the US welfare system (1). • This study focused on one of the provisions, Section 115, which places a lifetime ban on receiving welfare through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) for those who are convicted of a drug felony in the states that adopted the provision. • About half of the states opted out of the ban. • The intention of the provision was to cut down on drug use and drug related crimes (1). • However, critics argued that the provision unfairly penalizes ex-drug felons and is a misguided effort for cutting down drug crimes (1). • The goal of this research project is to determine the impact of the welfare bans, from Section 115 of PRWORA, on crime rates. • The research is significant because it has important implications for US welfare policy in order to improve it.