CSG Justice CenterCSG Justice Center

Probation and Parole Systems Marked by High Stakes, Missed Opportunities

Pew Charitable TrustsNationwide, 4.5 million people are on probation or parole—twice the size of the incarcerated population in state and federal prisons and local jails. The growth and size of the supervised population has undermined the ability of local and state community corrections agencies to carry out their basic responsibilities and provide the best public safety return on investment and prove accountability. Although research has identified effective supervision and treatment strategies, the system is too overloaded to implement them, which results in large numbers of people on probation or parole sent back to prison for new crimes or for failing to follow the rules. This issue brief from The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation analyzes leading research and identifies the most pressing problems and some promising solutions to these current issues.