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April 4, 2023

New Prison Policy Initiative briefing explores "the unmet needs of people on probation and parole"

The Prison Policy Initiative has this notable new briefing titled "Mortality, health, and poverty: the unmet needs of people on probation and parole." Authored by by Emily Widra and Alexi Jones, here is how it starts (with links from the original, but footnotes removed):

Research shows that people on probation and parole have high mortality rates: two and three times higher than the public at large. That certainly suggests that our community supervision systems are failing at their most important — and basic — function: ensuring people on probation and parole succeed in the community.

With a similar approach to our recent series regarding the needs of people incarcerated in state prisons, we did a deep dive into the extensive National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).  The results of this survey, administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), provide key insights into these specific — and often unmet — needs faced by people under community supervision.  Because this survey asks respondents if they were on probation or parole in the past 12 months, this dataset comes closer than any other source to offering a recent, descriptive, nationally representative picture of the population on probation and parole.

The data that we uncovered — and the analyses of this same dataset by other researchers discussed throughout — reveal that people under community supervision have high rates of substance use and mental health disorders and extremely limited access to healthcare, likely contributing to the high rates of mortality. Moreover, the data show that people on probation and parole experience high rates of chronic health conditions and disability, are extremely economically marginalized, and have family obligations that can interfere with the burdensome — often unnecessary — conditions of probation and parole.

April 4, 2023 at 03:15 PM | Permalink


Being old-fashioned, I grew up thinking that adults are responsible for meeting their own needs, rather than being entitled to glom onto to the resources of others. What a silly idea.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Apr 6, 2023 12:30:32 PM

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