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From the Pew Public Safety Performance Project
Michigan’s Mystery: Jails Fill While Crime Drops
– Michigan’s jail population has nearly tripled in the last 35 years while crime has sunk to a 50-year low. The Bridge news site reports that the state’s fragmented record-keeping is making it tough to pinpoint how this happened.
|“There’s no person and no data set [in Michigan] that can answer the question: Who’s in jail across the state, for how long, and why?” Pew’s Terry Schuster on the Bridge news site
Judge Glen Grant Addresses Reforming Pretrial Systems
“We are brave enough to say: ‘We can do better. We can improve the lives of people who are charged with a crime and protect public safety,'” says New Jersey judge Glenn A. Grant.
Higher Education Programs in Prison
What We Know Now and What We Should Focus On Going Forward
Each year, more than 700,000 incarcerated individuals leave federal and state prisons and return to local communities where they will have to compete with individuals in those communities for jobs. In today’s economy, having a college education is necessary to compete for many jobs, and the stakes for ex-offenders are higher than they are for others. There are different perspectives about whether postsecondary programs in prison should lead to academic degrees or industry-recognized credentials. Drawing on past RAND research on correctional education and focusing on the Second Chance Pell Experimental Sites Initiative and the Pathways from Prison to Postsecondary Education initiative in North Carolina, this Perspective summarizes research on the effectiveness of educational programs in helping to reduce recidivism, key lessons learned in providing college programs to incarcerated adults, and remaining issues that need to be addressed, including how to ensure long-term funding of in-prison college programs and the need for an outcomes evaluation to learn from the Experimental Initiative.
This is a report by an Association member. It can be downloaded from:
Americans Favor Expanded Pretrial Release, Limited Use of Jail
National poll finds strong support for alternatives to detention
To Safely Cut Incarceration, States Rethink Responses to Supervision Violations
Evidence-based policies lead to higher rates of parole and probation success
Recent research from The Pew Charitable Trusts found that about 4.5 million people in the United States are on community supervision as of 2016. Probation and parole provide a measure of accountability while allowing those who would otherwise have been incarcerated or have already served a term behind bars to meet their obligations to their families, communities, and victims.
People under supervision are expected to follow a set of rules, such as keeping appointments with probation or parole officers, maintaining employment, not using alcohol or other drugs, and paying required fees. Failure to follow the rules—referred to as technical violations—may result in revocation of the supervision and in some cases a term of incarceration. A 2019 report by the Council of State Governments showed that technical violations account for almost 1 in 4 admissions to state prison and $2.8 billion in annual incarceration costs.1
Probation and Parole Systems Marked by High Stakes, Missed Opportunities
1 in 55 adults is under community supervision
Incarceration has long dominated the national conversation on criminal justice, because the U.S. prison population skyrocketed between the 1980s and late 2000s. Starting in 2007, policymakers seeking to protect public safety, improve accountability, and save taxpayer dollars initiated a wave of bipartisan reforms that has reduced the number of people behind bars in many states. Yet this movement has largely overlooked the largest part of the correctional system: community supervision.
Nationwide, 4.5 million people are on probation or parole—twice the incarcerated population, including those in state and federal prisons and local jails. The growth and size of the supervised population has undermined the ability of local and state community corrections agencies to carry out their basic responsibilities to provide the best public safety return on investment as well as a measure of accountability. Although research has identified effective supervision and treatment strategies, the system is too overloaded to implement them, so it sends large numbers of probationers and parolees back to prison for new crimes or for failure to follow the rules.
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