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Proportion Of Adults Under Corrections Control Fell 13% From 2007 To 2014

The proportion of adults in the U.S. under correctional control, either incarcerated or on probation or parole, declined 13 percent between 2007, when it reached its peak, and 2014, says a Pew Charitable Trusts analysis of data from the U.S. federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. About 6.8 million adults, or 1 in 36, were under federal, state, or local correctional control at the end of 2014, down from about 7.3 million, or 1 in 31, seven years earlier. The adult […]

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Probation Increasingly Rare In Federal Courts; 90% Go To Prison

Over the last three decades, imprisonment has become the most common sanction in the federal criminal justice system, says the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Public Safety Performance Project. Nine in 10 federal offenders were sent to prison in 2014, up from less than half in 1980, as the use of probation declined steadily. Federal judges sentenced 2,300 fewer offenders to probation in 2014 than in 1980, even though their caseload nearly tripled during that period. Pew says changes in the kinds […]

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Timing Of “Affluenza,” Rice Cases Points To Issues Of Unequal Justice

The timing of Ethan Couch’s capture in the “affluenza” case is likely to raise questions about equal justice under the law, says the Christian Science Monitor. The manhunt for Couch ended the same day a Cleveland grand jury declined to bring charges against two police officers who killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014. “You can't help but be struck by the juxtaposition of the Tamir Rice grand jury decision and [the Couch case],” says law Prof. Daniel Filler of Drexel […]

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“Affluenza” Teen Who Missed Probation Appointment Found In Mexico

Mexican authorities have detained Ethan Couch and his mother, Tonya, in the beach resort town of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, reports the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. Couch, 18, had been on the run since missing an appointment with his probation officer this month, a violation of a 10-year-probation sentence he received for drunkenly killing four people in 2013. The Tarrant County Sheriff's Department's fugitive unit started searching for Ethan Couch on Dec. 16 after his probation officer found the home he rented […]

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How U.S. Probation Officers Monitor 225,000 Offenders, Suspects

Thousands of federal prisoners have been leaving confinement early and returning to their communities as a result of changes to sentencing guidelines for drug-related crimes. Who will monitor the former inmates? The buck stops with Matthew Rowland, chief of the probation and pretrial services office at the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, NPR reports. Rowland was a federal probation officer in his native New York for 15 years. Now he’s responsible for a nationwide team that supervises about 225,000 […]

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Rhode Island Probation System Needs Overhaul, State Officials Told

Rhode Island’s probation system seems to be running on autopilot, with prison sentences governed by outdated laws and a bureaucracy using outdated technology that wastes staffers' time and state resources, a commission studying the probation system was told yesterday, the Providence Journal reports. The state needs to do much more to assess who is on probation, which would allow it to target those who are the most likely re-offend and concentrate more attention on them, said Carl Reynolds of the […]