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From Tripwire to Lifeline: Reforming a Broken Probation and Parole System

Arnold Ventures

By Michael Hardy

This week The Council of State Governments Justice Center released a groundbreaking report revealing that nearly 1 in 4 people any given day in America are incarcerated in state prison for violating the conditions of their probation or parole, costing states more than $9.3 billion each year. The report, which was funded by Arnold Ventures, also found that fully 45 percent of new prison admissions are due to probation or parole violations. Although some people violate their conditions of supervision by committing a new offense, about half wind up in prison after missing a visit to their community supervision officer or failing a drug test. These and other technical violations account for a quarter of all state prison admissions.

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