New Reports from 10 Nationwide Sites Highlight Key Factors that Drive Probation Violations and Revocations and Guidance for Reform

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CUNY Institute by Victoria Lawson, Research Project Director

One in 55 people are under community supervision—probation and parole—nationwide. Across all state prisons, nearly 25% of prison admissions are the result of technical violations of community supervision—often due to minor offenses, such as such as missing appointments with supervision officers, missed curfews, or failed drug tests. The Council of State Governments Justice Center reports that approximately 95,000 people are incarcerated as a result of technical violations on any given day, which costs states $2.8 billion annually.

For the past two years, the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance (ISLG) and Arnold Ventures have been working with 10 jurisdictions across the country to research their probation supervision practices to preserve public safety without over-punishing less harmful behaviors with the ultimate goal of reducing unnecessary incarceration.

Today, those 10 jurisdictions have each released their action research reports, which identify the local practices and factors that lead to probation being revoked and how revocation can be prevented, with the goal of informing specific policy and practice interventions.