Right On Crime, a national campaign supporting conservative criminal justice initiatives, applaud the Mississippi Legislature’s move to study opportunities to improve public safety by creating standards and incentives to help those on parole successfully “rebound” with meaningful parole and employment opportunities. The study was born from reforms proposed in the Community Rebound Act (Mississippi Senate Bill 2600) sponsored by State Sen. Daniel Sparks.
The parole incentives to be studied would improve the likelihood of success for those on parole, which in turn will improve community safety and reduce recidivism.
“As a former parole officer, I understand how officers are overwhelmed by issues related to staff turnover, large caseloads, and the complexity of correction and rehabilitation,” said Scott Peyton, Mississippi State Director of Right On Crime. “Offering a pathway to success for folks returning from incarceration offers hope. Instilling hope in the criminal justice system and for those on supervision requires action.”
Right On Crime trusts that the legislative study of the parole incentives contained in the Rebound Act will also pave the way toward improved data tracking and transparency so that Mississippians can better understand the effectiveness of parole programming and measure revocation rates.
One component of the Rebound Act proposed that ROC contends is critical to successful reentry is the implementation and expansion of the risk-and-needs assessment of individuals within the criminal justice system. Rather than the one-size-fits-all approach, this tool would allow officers to create an individualized supervision plan around an offender’s specific needs and risk, improving the likelihood of that offender’s success as a tax-paying citizen in their community.
“Supplying probation and parole officers with the tools and bandwidth to effectively supervise is critical to the success of any reentry effort,” said Peyton. “We must understand the specific needs and risk of each offender, then make evidence-based programming for substance abuse, mental health, employment training, and other barriers to meaningful reentry.”
For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Tonya Kerr at 512-300-3767 or [email protected]