Parole and probation are creating a huge drain on some state resources, according to The Crime Report.
“Probation and parole were envisioned to help reduce the prison population and provide some structure and aid to those re-entering society. However, these systems have metastasized into a monstrous drain on state resources, even as they have damaged the lives of the formerly incarcerated,” the Nov. 19 story stated.
The report cited the Pennsylvania system of supervised release as an example of draining state resources. Pennsylvania has the third-highest rate of supervision in the country, with a quarter of a million people under probation or parole, according to The Crime Report.
One out of every 34 adults in Pennsylvania is on probation or parole, which creates massive caseloads for probation and parole officers, the story said.
Those massive caseloads can be a contributing factor to recidivism, according to Jesse Kelley, a Criminal Justice policy analyst, and Arthur Rizer, Director of Criminal Justice and Civil Liberties Policy at R Street.
R Street studied how large caseloads, extended periods of probation and parole have worsened the outcome for persons affected.
“Approximately one-third of all beds in (Pennsylvania) state prisons are occupied by people who have violated the conditions of their probation. These are often individuals who pose no real danger to society,” said Pennsylvania State Sen. Anthony Williams, a Democrat.
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) reported that extended lengths of probation or parole does not increase public safety, and the risk of a person reoffending while under supervised release dwindles after the first year.
The NIJ said of the prisoners who were re-arrested while on parole, about 57 percent were re-arrested within the first year, but it was mostly technical violations and not serious violent offenses.
Senator Williams introduced Senate Bill 1067 in an effort to reduce the number of re-arrests, limit the length of probation, and place limits on judges’ ability to detain people on probation in jail for technical violations that are not a threat to public safety.