(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)
Shawn D. Bushway, University at Albany, State University of New York and David J. Harding, University of California, Berkeley
(THE CONVERSATION) Rapper Meek Mill is back in prison in Pennsylvania for violating the terms of his probation.
According to officials, Mill left the state without permission, did not meet with his probation officer, tested positive for Percocet, failed to complete community service and got into a fight at an airport.
Mill’s case has drawn new attention to how probation and parole violations contribute to extremely high rates of incarceration in the United States. These high rates of incarceration are in part driven by reimprisonment of formerly incarcerated individuals, known as recidivism. More than half of people who are released from prison in a given year in the United States will return within five years, a phenomenon that has come to be known as prison’s “revolving door.”
Reducing the prison population requires a deeper understanding of what drives the revolving door. The results of our recently published study show how parole, even more than probation, plays a key role.