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PUBLICATIONS

Parole and Re-Entry

THE ISSUE. “Reentry” is the term used to describe the process of reintegrating criminal offenders back into their communities. A proper parole system must include effective reentry programs. If not, a state will have spent money to incarcerate and release an offender without making any effort to limit his or her potential to re-offend. This would not serve public safety interests, and it would be a waste of taxpayer dollars.

THE IMPACT. If used wisely, parole – the supervised release of prison inmates before the end of their sentence – can help transition offenders into lives as free men and women. A 2005 Urban Institute study of data collected by the Bureau of Justice Statistics determined that women, individuals with few prior arrests, property offenders, public order offenders, and technical violators (those who violate conditions of community supervision, but do not otherwise commit new crimes), are less likely to be arrested again if they undergo parole supervision at the end of a prison term. For these offenders, parole and reentry programs are a wise use of taxpayer dollars. The Urban Institute study also concluded, however, that violent criminals and drug offenders do not benefit from parole supervision. For these offenders, treatment and/or incarceration may be more sensible approaches.

One key to an effective system of parole is proper monitoring. Inmates who are released on parole should receive regular supervision – in the form of in-person or phone check-ins – to make sure they are employed and maintain a permanent residence. In addition, some offenders may be required to attend regular substance abuse or psychiatric counseling. These services should aid the offender’s reentry into his or her community, with an objective of having someone become a productive citizen rather than a re-offender. Parolees who fail to meet the conditions of their release or who commit another offense while released should be returned to prison.

Smart parole policies not only advance public safety, they are considerably cheaper than incarceration. In the state of Texas, for example, parole costs $4 dollars per day per offender, whereas incarceration costs $50.

THE CONSERVATIVE SOLUTION.

• Use evidence-based methods, such as risk assessments, to determine who would benefit from parole and who would not benefit.

• Allow parole only for certain non-violent offenders, and encourage the use of intermediate sanctions facilities, rather than prisons, for these parolees when they commit technical violations rather than new crimes.

• Utilize GPS technology to monitor those on parole, which is more efficient and effective than phone check-in.

• Expand the use of ignition interlock devices for DWI offenders who are on parole.

• Implement cost-effective technologies (such as bracelets) which monitor blood-alcohol levels through an offender’s sweat and continuously send the results back to parole officers.  Also, consider requirements that offenders regularly be tested for sobriety in-person (e.g., South Dakota’s 24-7 Sobriety Program).

• Reduce the potential tort liabilities to employers for negligent hiring suits. Reduced tort liability will make employers more likely to hire parolees. Statistics show that parolees with good, steady jobs are less likely to reoffend.

Thanksgiving 2020: Freedom, Prosperity and Opportunity

Scott Peyton | November 23, 2020
A favorite patriotic song of mine is Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” I am particularly moved by the lyrics “If tomorrow all the things were gone, I’d worked…

‘A Neighbor’s Choice’: Reform Alliance’s Erin Haney

Chelsea Murphy | November 20, 2020
I was thrilled to once again co-host “A Neighbor’s Choice” podcast with David Gornoski, which airs on iHeartRadio WFLA Orlando 93.1 FM/540AM and News Talk Florida WHBO across Tampa…

A Neighbor’s Choice: David Safavian with the American Conservative Union

Chelsea Murphy | November 12, 2020
I have enjoyed co-hosting a weekly radio program on iHeartRadio WFLA Orlando 93.1 FM/540AM and News Talk Florida WHBO across Tampa Bay, called A Neighbor’s Choice. This week I…

Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC): A Barrier to Reentry in Louisiana

Scott Peyton | November 9, 2020
Many Louisiana residents are gainfully employed in the oil, gas, and maritime industry, particularly related to Louisiana’s ports. In fact, these jobs account for nearly 800,000 Louisiana jobs. Not…

Using Technology to Increase Participation in Pardon and Parole Hearings

Scott Peyton | October 9, 2020
The way Americans conduct business has certainly changed due to COVID-19 concerns. The criminal justice system has had to undergo changes to accommodate necessary safety precautions to protect against…

The Federal Bonding Program: An Incentive to Hire Justice-Involved Individuals

Scott Peyton | September 30, 2020
Some employers are hesitant to hire people with criminal backgrounds due to the risks they associate with these individuals.  Research undermines many of the concerns around second-chance hiring, and…

Worker Opportunity Tax Credit: A $4.9 Billion Value

Scott Peyton | September 18, 2020
Justice-involved individuals face significant barriers to employment. Unemployment for justice-involved individuals is a major predictor of recidivism. Businesses that offer a second chance to a qualified, justice-involved candidate can…

From Tax Burdens to Tax Payers

Scott Peyton | June 30, 2020
In August of 2018, my predecessor, Elain Ellerbe, introduced Right on Crime’s A Handbook for Employers: From Tax Burdens to Tax payers: Why Hiring the Previously Incarcerated is Right…

Recapping the 2020 Session in Louisiana

Scott Peyton | June 5, 2020
The Louisiana 2020 Legislative session certainly was memorable. It began with my first grandchild, Lucy Louise Peyton, who was born on March 9, 2020, the first day of the…

Governor Wolf’s Reprieve Order is Smart and Timely

John Koufos | May 20, 2020
Social distancing is difficult enough in densely packed urban areas like New York City, which has become the epicenter of the pandemic in the country in no small part…

Re-Entry Ready Louisiana

Scott Peyton | May 7, 2020
HB 77 allows the use of technology—such as video conferencing—and provides flexibility of reporting for those employed.

Pandemic Or Not, Alternatives to In-Person Supervision Contacts Are Good Policy

Scott Peyton | April 23, 2020
During my 10 years as a Louisiana Probation and Parole (PNP) officer, I kept hand sanitizer with me at all times. PNP officers are exposed to a wide array…
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