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Parole Outcome in California: The Consequences of Determinate Sentencing, Punishment, and Incapacitation on Parole Performance

NCJ Number
J Austin
Date Published
38 pages
Data on 588 California offenders during the 24 months following their release to parole during 1986 formed the basis of this analysis of rates and the nature of parole violations and rearrests and the factors associated with parole outcome.
The analysis showed that nearly 65 percent of the offenders were rearrested during the followup period with 23 percent of the offenders responsible for about 58 percent of the arrests. Robbery, assault, and other violent crimes amounted to 13 percent of the crimes; property crimes and drug arrests, 54 percent; and misdemeanors and other felonies, the remainder. Younger, minority inmates who were committed for property and drug-related crimes and who had prior contacts with State and county correctional agencies were the most likely to be rearrested. Other data also showed that California is spending more resources on reincarcerating prisoners released to parole than on new offenders sentenced directly by the courts. Policy changes that might improve outcomes include enhancing parole supervision for persons objectively identified as having a high risk of failure and legislative and administrative changes that would encourage officials to retain these individuals on parole supervision rather than imprisoning them again briefly. Tables and footnotes.