Blog Briefing Room

Nearly half of state prison admissions are for parole or probation violations: report

Getty Images
An empty prison cell is seen in this Aug. 30, 2018, file photo. Several bills pending in Congress would attempt to correct sentencing disparities.

One-quarter of state prison admissions in 2017 were for technical violations of probation or parole, such as missed appointments or failed drug tests, according to new research from the Council of State Governments Justice Center (CSG).  

That same year, overall probation and parole violations, including both technical violations and new offenses, made up 45 percent of the 590,234 total state prison admissions, the research shows.

{mosads}Parole or probation violations account for more than half of prison admissions in 20 states, according to the data. In Idaho, about 62 percent of the prison population was incarcerated on a probation or parole violation. 

Nearly 300,000 people are incarcerated in relation to a supervision violation on any given day, which costs states over $9.3 billion a year, according to the data. Technical violations account for $2.8 billion of that amount.

The report also found that 13 states have a prison population that is more than 1 in 3 supervision violators on any given day. In 20 states, technical or nontechnical violations represent more than half of prison admissions, including Utah where they represent 79 percent.

Any plan to address supervision violations on a state level, the report says, should address several key questions.

Officials should identify supervision violations’ effect on local jails, how state policies impact the length of probation and parole periods, and for what types of new offenses people on supervision are sentenced to prison.

States should also analyze what action they have taken to scale up implementation of supervision practices and programs designed to cut recidivism, according to the report.

Lastly, states should determine how much they invest in supervision annually and how much per year supervision violations cost them.

Tags Criminal justice reform Probation
See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video