Supervised prison parolees are rearrested at about the same rate as those released without supervision, according to a study by the Urban Institute, a nonprofit policy research organization organization based in Washington. Researchers compared rearrest rates for mandatory parolees, unconditional releasees and discretionary parolees in 14 states. Mandatory parolees and those on unconditional release have served their full sentences. Discretionary parolees are granted early release.
In the two years after release, 62 percent of unconditional releasees and 61 percent of mandatory parolees were rearrested at least once. The rate was 54 percent for discretionary parolees. But when the researchers compared similar individuals, rearrest outcomes for each category were nearly identical. Discretionary parolees are generally considered more likely to succeed because they have shown motivation and preparedness. The study, by Amy Solomon, Vera Kachnowski, and Avinash Bhati, used federal Bureau of Justice Statistics data on prisoners released in 1994 in 14 states–the most recent detailed multistate information available.