January 07, 2012

State Loosens Leash on Parolees, So Fewer Are Rejailed

In New York State, every parolee is released from prison with an agreement to follow thirteen rules, including reporting any contact with the police. Breaking a rule can be grounds for re-imprisonment.

Now New York has revamped its policy, having concluded that it does not always make sense to jail parole violators for minor infractions of the rules.

Following the lead of other states and an in-house sentencing commission, New York has adopted guidelines that classify parolees as low or high risk using risk factors including attitudes toward criminality, mental health, access to stable housing and criminal history. Their supervision is tailored accordingly, in the hope of reducing recidivism rates.

The new guidelines took effect on January 1 2012.

Full story:
State Loosens Leash on Parolees, So Fewer Are Rejailed, by Joseph Walker (New York Times City Room, January 6, 2012)