Pew Charitable Trusts released a new report on June 4, 2014 that reveals that one in five prisoners are released back into the community without supervision. This includes inmates who were held in solitary confinement for a long period of time, and those who have served long sentences.
Read the press release with highlights of the report and access the full report below.
Pew: 1 in 5 Inmates Returns to Community Without Supervision
Contact: Lesa Rair: 202-540-644206
04/2014 - New Report Offers Strategies to Reduce Recidivism Rates and Lower Prison Costs
More than 1 in 5 state inmates maxed out their prison terms and were released to their communities without any supervision in 2012, undermining efforts to reduce reoffending rates and improve public safety, according to a report released today by The Pew Charitable Trusts.A wide range of laws and policies adopted in the 1980s and ’90s has resulted in a sharp increase in the rate at which inmates serve their full sentences behind bars, leaving no time at the end for parole or probation agencies to monitor their whereabouts and activities or help them transition back into society by providing substance abuse, mental health, or other intervention programs.“There’s a broad consensus that public safety is best served when offenders have a period of supervision and services when they leave prison,” said Adam Gelb, director of Pew’s public safety performance project. “Yet the trend is toward releasing more and more inmates without any supervision or services whatsoever. Carving out a supervision period from the prison sentence can cut crime and corrections costs.”
Despite growing evidence and a broad consensus that the period immediately following release from prison is critical for preventing recidivism, a large and increasing number of offenders are maxing out—serving their entire sentences behind bars—and returning to their communities without supervision or support. Between 1990 and 2012, the number of inmates who maxed out their sentences in prison grew 119 percent, from fewer than 50,000 to more than 100,000. These inmates do not have any legal conditions imposed on them, are not monitored by parole officers, and do not receive the assistance that can help them lead crime-free lives.
The increase in max-outs is largely the outcome of state policy choices over the past three decades that resulted in offenders serving higher proportions of their sentences behind bars. Yet new research suggests that for many offenders, shorter prison terms followed by supervision have the potential to reduce both recidivism and overall corrections costs.
This report examines the rise in max-outs and its policy origins, provides state-by-state max-out rates, profiles states that are leading on the use of post-prison supervision to protect public safety and reduce costs, and offers a framework to help other states use evidence to inform release and supervision decisions.
Between 1990 and 2012, the number of inmates who maxed out their sentences in prison grew 119 percent, from fewer than 50,000 to more than 100,000.The max-out rate, the proportion of prisoners released without receiving supervision, was more than 1 in 5, or 22 percent of all releases, in 2012.Max-out rates vary widely by state: In Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Oregon, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin, fewer than 10 percent of inmates were released without supervision in 2012. More than 40 percent of inmates maxed out their prison terms and left without supervision in Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Utah. Nonviolent offenders are driving the increase. In a subset of states with data available by offense type, 20 and 25 percent of drug and property offenders, respectively, were released without supervision in 2000, but those figures grew to 31 and 32 percent, or nearly 1 in 3, in 2011.
Read "Max Out The Rise in Prison Inmates Released Without Supervis here..