Fewer Parolees Reincarcerated, A Hint That Some Reforms are Working


A U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics report says that of 500,000 parolees who leave supervision each year, 32 percent were reincarcerated in 2011 compared with 36 percent in 2008, which means that 30,000 fewer parolees were sent back to prison last year than three years earlier.

The New York Times says this suggests that state reforms are cutting the numbers of parolees who are bounced back to prison for minor infractions. Many states are remaking “hair-trigger” systems that send large numbers of people back to custody not for new crimes but for violations like failing a drug test or missing an appointment with a parole officer. Several states have cut recidivism by giving newly released inmates access to drug treatment or mental health care, focusing parole supervision on the riskiest offenders, and developing community-based sanctions that send only troubled or repeat offenders back to prison.

Comments are closed.