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Early Termination of Supervision: No Compromise to Community Safety

NCJ Number
Federal Probation Volume: 77 Issue: 2 Dated: September 2013 Pages: 17-22
Laura M. Baber; James L. Johnson
Date Published
September 2013
6 pages
This study examined whether a policy of early termination of a supervision sentence posed a danger to public safety.
Results of the most recent study (2008) by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts found that offenders granted early termination of probation under current policies posed no greater danger to the community than offenders who served their full probation term. These findings reaffirm the belief that early termination policies allow officers to make responsible decisions about which offenders to recommend for an early termination of their supervision term. Nearly twice as many full-term probationers were rearrested for major or minor offenses within 3 years compared to their counterparts who were terminated early, (19.2 percent versus 10.2 percent, respectively). There were 15,266 supervised-release and probation cases closed in fiscal year 2008, of which 3,814 were for early termination and 11,452 were for successful completion of the supervision term. This total excludes cases with missing RPI and criminal history scores, offenders younger than 18 years old, as well as sex and violent offenders. As a result of the matching for this study, average ages of early-term and full term offenders were nearly identical. Because early termination criteria heavily favored low-risk offenders, they accounted for the majority of offenders in this study. Medium-risk offenders accounted for 23.7 percent, and high-risk offenders accounted for 1.8 percent. 2 figures and 11 tables