Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Dr. Armando Barragan


In response to a federal mandate, California passed Public Safety Realignment policies in 2011 to reduce its prison population. Popularly known as Assembly Bill 109 (AB109), these policies sought to reform the prison system on multiple fronts. One of these fronts is preventing recidivism among offenders. Most studies on recidivism look at individual factors or specific micro interventions. However, the aim of this research was to examine the relationship between external factors and recidivism rates across 55 California counties. Using Spearman’s Correlation, this study tested the hypothesis that external factors such as county funding/expenditure, poverty level, and unemployment level monotonically correlate with recidivism rate at the statistically significant confidence interval. The findings of this research produced mixed results: the hypothesis was supported for county funding/expenditure, but not for poverty level and unemployment level. The implications of these findings for theory, research, and macro social work practice are discussed.