The state of Tennessee has saved $32 million from previous parole and probation reforms.
The Tennessean reported on a recent study by The Council of State Governments (CSG) on the failures of America’s criminal justice system. It specifically honed in on flawed policies regarding probation and parole. It highlighted how on average “45 percent of state prison admissions nationwide are due to violations of probation or parole for new offenses or technical violations.”
In 20 states, over half of prisoners had their supervision revoked. Technical violations, which include missing appointments with supervision officers or failing drug tests, make up nearly a quarter of all state prison admissions.
This reform is part of a growing criminal justice movement where states are taking proactive steps to fine tune incarceration policies and only jail people that pose the biggest threats to society.
Although Tennessee still has work to do, the state is doing a good job in shifting prison resources towards violent criminals and not trying to zealously jail people who violated certain technicalities of their parole.
By focusing more on violent crime and repeat offenders, states can enhance public safety while not having to engage in mass incarceration policies that put non-violent offenders behind bars.