Supervision Limits in Criminal Justice

The use of probation and parole in the United States has declined since reaching its peak in 2007, but it continues to impact the lives of 3.9 million Americans. However, research indicates that supervision is not an effective alternative to incarceration or a contributor to rehabilitation. Analysis of national data since 1980 reveals that supervision has minimal influence on future crime and cannot replace imprisonment. Case studies from California and New York City demonstrate that reducing the extent of mass supervision is achievable through sentencing reform, case diversion, and policy changes without an increase in crime. Therefore, we propose a significant reduction in supervision or exploration of its abolition, providing actionable steps for each approach.

Image courtesy of interviewee. December 8, 2023

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