What Happens When Inmates ‘Max Out’


Inmates released on parole are less likely to be rearrested for new crimes than inmates who serve, or “max out,” their full prison sentences, according to a new study of New Jersey incarceration data by the non-profit Pew Charitable Trusts.

The three-year recidivism rates of parolees and max-out inmates were nearly identical among those released in 2008, according to the study, but a deeper look revealed that many parolees are sent back for technical violations. such as failing drug tests or missing meetings, not committing new crimes.

“About 25 percent of parolees released in 2008 committed new crimes and returned to prison within three years,” researchers wrote. “Compared with 41 percent of offenders who maxed out their sentences, were released without supervision, and subsequently committed new crimes.”

The research notes that, max-outs tend to be high-risk offenders, but after controlling for certain risk factors, they found that parolees are 36 percent less likely to return to prison for new crimes.

Read the report HERE.

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