Massachusetts can reduce crime and save millions of dollars by intensely supervising and assisting thousands of offenders who are released from state prisons and county jails every year, says a research organization, according to the Boston Globe. Elyse Clawson, director of the Crime and Justice Institute in Boston, said the state is at risk of experiencing a significant rise in crime unless it develops strategies for dealing with the large group of prisoners scheduled to complete prison sentences in the next few years. About 43 percent of offenders released from prison commit new crimes and wind up behind bars again within three years, Clawson said; 57 percent of offenders hit the streets after a prison sentence with no supervision.
Clawson said state laws should be revised to require supervision for every released prisoner. Now, only prisoners who have accepted an early release from prison as a parolee are closely supervised. Supervision should include substance abuse counseling, job training, and behavioral programs, she said. The institute issued a report saying that an intensive assessment of an offender’s addictions, social behaviors, and other factors can predict within 85 percent accuracy the likelihood of the offender’s committing new offenses. Based on such assessments, the state should spend heavily on the high-risk offender, Clawson said.