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CommentaryNational

States Can Shorten Probation and Protect Public Safety

Source: pewtrusts.org 12/3/20

More than 3.5 million, or 1 in 72, adults were on probation in the United States at the end of 2018—the most recent year for which U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) data is available—more than triple the number in 1980.1 Nationwide, on any given day, more people are on probation than in prisons and jails and on parole combined.

At its best, probation—court-ordered correctional supervision in the community—gives people the opportunity to remain with their families, maintain employment, and access services that can reduce their likelihood of reoffending while serving their sentences. But, as previous research by The Pew Charitable Trusts has shown, the growth and size of this population have overloaded local and state agencies and stretched their resources thin, weakening their ability to provide the best return on taxpayers’ public safety investments, support rehabilitation, and ensure a measure of accountability.2 One key factor driving the size of the probation population is how long individuals remain on supervision.

A growing list of high-quality studies have shown that long probation sentences are not associated with lower rates of recidivism and are more likely than shorter ones to lead to technical violations—noncompliance with one or more supervision rules, such as missing appointments or testing positive for drug use. Recent research from the Council of State Governments has found that such violations contribute significantly to state incarceration rates and correctional costs: More than 1 in 10 state prison admissions are the result of technical violations of probation rather than convictions for a new crime.

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I agree, I was sentenced to “Lifetime Probation” and served 12 years of it with the PO violating me several times for trivial stuff. Finally, I told the Judge I wanted to go to prison to end my sentence. He gave me 5 years with 2 years “time served” credit, (from jail time served due to the violations) and I finally got off paper after 15 years.

Freedom and Responsibility act is worth taking a look into as even many of us on this registry are in a bias type of bind one can say. Sure protection is good but many times things can get out of hand as in much of this registry.Sure there are many trespass laws. Even on many sex type site’s you see a disclaimer of one has to he over 21 and such to enter a site. Guess age is just somewhat a number but the guidance is still a reproachable subject.
Sure one can talk a reprimand or a rebuke of criticism but this registry is too much for many and when constitutional law is involve it can take on a whole different angle, twist, or understanding. Down with the registry in many facets. Preventing and Perverting are two different ordeals or angles in American Government. Government has a way of covering things up with overuse control.

These days, inordinately long probation terms are merely a means for judges and prosecutors to fluff their resumes; they’re still counted toward the years sentenced.

Specific to sex crime convictions, they’re specifically designed to ensure that those convicted spent the majority of the period running in and out of jail/prison for petty stuff not included in registry law (i.e., curfews).

Like the registry, original intents are irrelevant. As long as there are benefits to those in elected positions (and DAs and criminal/superior court judges ARE elected positions in most states) from abusing a system of any kind, they will keep abusing it, regardless of costs and effects.

Well said @Dustin

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