Efforts to rein in prison populations have gained momentum across the country, but much less discussed is one of the leading drivers of incarceration—community supervision.
Nationwide, 4.5 million people are on probation or parole, about twice the population confined in prisons and jails combined. In 2016, 1 in 55 adults was on community supervision; the total number had increased 239 percent since 1980.
The growth and size of the supervised population can undermine the ability of local and state community corrections agencies to carry out their basic responsibilities to provide the best public safety return on investment, support behavior changes, and ensure accountability.
While about half of those on probation or parole will successfully complete their sentences, onerous supervision requirements can become tripwires. In 2016, 350,000 supervision sentences were terminated, leading to jail or prison stays—often for technical violations rather than for new criminal offenses.
What does the public need to know about probation and parole? And how can journalists cover the important—and underreported—issues related to delivering better outcomes for people on supervision, decreasing the footprint of the community supervision system, and reducing costly incarceration for violations of supervision? What innovative policies have states used to improve their systems and who are the most influential players in the field?
A Pew Charitable Trusts panel at the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) convention in August in Miami will feature experts who will discuss the research and efforts by states to improve supervision outcomes.
Friday, Aug. 9, 2019, 10 AM - 11:30 AM, JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa, Palmetto Room, Aventura, Florida
Moderator: Teresa Wiltz, senior staff writer, Stateline (@teresawiltz)