Categories: Media

Probation and Parole Feed Mass Incarceration in the United States

Revoked

Probation and Parole Feed Mass Incarceration in the United States
© 2020 Sally Deng for Human Rights Watch

Probation, parole, and other forms of supervision are marketed as alternatives to incarceration in the United States. Supervision, it is claimed, will keep people out of prison and help them get back on their feet.

Sometimes, judges ultimately refuse to revoke probation for failure to pay, believing it is unfair, former Georgia public defender Falen Cox said.[217] 

But by then, as discussed below in Section III, “Pre-Revocation Confinement,” people typically have already sat in jail waiting for their revocation hearing for weeks or months, meaning much damage has already been done.

Throughout the past 50 years, the use of probation (a sentence often imposed just after conviction) and parole (served after incarceration) has soared alongside jail and prison populations. As of 2016, the last year for which supervision data is available, 2.2 million people were incarcerated in United States jails and prisons, but more than twice as many, 4.5 million people—or one in every 55—were under supervision. Supervision rates vary vastly by state, from one in every 168 people in New Hampshire, to one in every 18 in Georgia.

Over the past several decades, arbitrary and overly harsh supervision regimes have led people back into US jails and prisons—feeding mass incarceration. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), in the late 1970s, 16 percent of US state and federal prison admissions stemmed from violations of parole and some types of probation. This number climbed to a high of 36 percent in 2008, and, in 2018, the last year for which data is available, was 28 percent. A different set of data for the previous year from the Council of State Governments, which includes all types of probation violations—but is limited to state prison populations—shows that 45 percent of all US state prison admissions stemmed from probation and parole violations. These figures do not include people locked up for supervision violations in jails, for which there is little nationwide data. Black and brown people are both disproportionately subjected to supervision and incarcerated for violations.

SOURCE: https://www.hrw.org/node/375863/printable/print

Falen Cox

Attorney Falen O. Cox is a Founding Partner of Cox, Rodman, & Middleton, LLC

Recent Posts

Police Questioning: 5 Essential, Law-Abiding Tips You MUST Know

STOP TALKING! Before submitting to police questioning, you must know these 5 essential law-abiding tips…

12 months ago

What is a Stop and Identify Statute? [A Study of 50 States]

What is a Stop and Identify Statute? [A Study of 50 States] Stop and frisks…

1 year ago

Are Police Body-Worn Cameras (BWC) a Danger to the Public’s Privacy?

“From my observation law enforcement usually decides to release BWC and similar footage in cases…

1 year ago

ACLU and HRW Report: Revoked | American Civil Liberties Union

  ACLU AND HRW REPORT: REVOKED: HOW PROBATION AND PAROLE FEED MASS INCARCERATION IN THE…

1 year ago

Meet Falen Cox | Attorney and Entrepreneur | Shoutout DFW

I am most proud to have started this firm. I have wanted to be a…

1 year ago

Driving Without Car Insurance: Penalties & Fines | NextAdvisor with TIME

“The penalties for driving without car insurance vary from state to state,” says Falen Cox, legal…

2 years ago