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January 16, 2014

Notable new research from Pew about the success of parole in New Jersey

Too often we only hear a lot about parole policies and practices when there is a high-profile story of some parolee committing some terrible crime following parole release.  And, problematically, those kinds of headline-grabbing stories can lead to changes in laws and practices that might not be wise if and when broader information and data are considered. 

In light of these realities, I am very pleased to have just stumbled across a good-news story about parole practices appearing in this little research report published by The Pew Charitable Trusts’ public safety performance project and titled simply "The Impact of Parole in New Jersey." Here is the report's overview:

Nearly 700,000 offenders were released from U.S. prisons in 2011. Ensuring their successful re-entry into the community remains a critical issue for public safety. A new analysis of New Jersey data, commissioned by The Pew Charitable Trusts, shows that inmates released to parole supervision are less likely to be rearrested, reconvicted, and reincarcerated for new crimes than inmates who serve, or “max out,” their full prison sentences and are released without supervision. The two groups return to prison at nearly identical rates, however, because parolees can be sent back for technical violations—such as failing drug tests or missing meetings—that are not associated with committing new crimes.

These findings demonstrate not only that supervision can make a decisive difference in controlling criminal behavior among released offenders, but also that technical revocations unrelated to new crimes reduce the cost savings of parole. This brief discusses the findings in depth and examines their implications for states’ corrections policies.

January 16, 2014 at 06:25 PM | Permalink


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We ought to consider sending ex inmates, with or without mates, to a new territory and let them live there. Georgia and Australia come to mind but they are filled up. Someplace far away on another continent like SE Asia. Give them each a monthly stipend for a year. Maybe India. Afghanistan would be feasible. They could teach the tallybain a ting or two.

Posted by: Liberty1st | Jan 18, 2014 1:51:10 PM

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