Success in the Media

Crime News:Parole and Probation-One Out of Forty-five Adults Are Under Supervision

Crime News from Crime in America.Net

Gentlereaders: As you walk through a crowd in just about any major metropolitan area, you have a one on forty-five chance of being in the company of a criminal offender on community supervision. When you consider the “churn” of offenders going into and leaving the criminal justice system, we assume that the odds, at minimum, are half that number.

We provide this information not to scare you; it’s more of an acknowledgement that offenders and former offenders are part of our day-to-day lives. Most of us interact with dozens of people with criminal histories every day. We just don’t realize it.

There are several thoughts that come out of this. One is the crime prevention tips we provide on this website regarding stranger-to-stranger victimization, although most violent crime (except robbery) involves people we know. Also, law enforcement agencies are increasingly targeting offenders with extensive criminal histories that are known to be active in crime.

Another is an acknowledgement that many offenders do better and recidivate less (commit fewer crimes) when they are provided with drug and mental health treatment and job placement services.

The question becomes whether or not you want to interact with someone with a mental health history (half of offenders claim this status) with or without treatment?

If we come to recognize that people with criminal histories are a daily part of our lives, and if we acknowledge that states are trying to keep an increasing number of offenders on the streets because they cannot afford increased costs of incarceration, then services to offenders becomes increasingly necessary.

The emerging theme seems to be targeting high-risk offenders and a growing consensus that we have to do a better job of providing services. It seems to be in our best interest to do both.

Crime in America staff.

Latest research from the Department of Justice:

  • Nearly 5.1 million adults were under community supervision at yearend 2008—the equivalent of about 1 in every 45 adults in the United States.
  • Probationers (4,270,917) represented the majority (84%) of the community supervision population in 2008; parolees (828,169) accounted for a smaller share (16%).
  • The probation (0.9%) and parole (0.9%) populations grew at the same rate during 2008. The probation population increased by 36,446 probationers while the parole population increased by 6,992 parolees during the year.
  •  Probationers (4,270,917) represented the majority (84%) of the community supervision population in 2008; parolees (828,169) accounted for a smaller share (16%).
  •  The probation (0.9%) and parole (0.9%) populations grew at the same rate during 2008. The probation population increased by 36,446 probationers while the parole population increased by 6,992 parolees during the year.
  •  Growth in the probation population has slowed in recent years to an average of 0.7% annually between 2003 and 2008 from an average of 2.5% annually between 2000 and2003.

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