(Photo by Flickr user Chris Yarzab, used under a Creative Commons license)
Philadelphia wants to reduce incarceration rates by 34 percent over the next three years. Coincidentally, a third of the county’s prison population are being detained for violating parole or probation — functions that exist as alternatives to jail for low-level offenders.
A new report from City & State PA looks into how those violations, things like missing a meeting with a probation officer or receiving a traffic ticket, are bolstering the county’s high incarceration rates.
The problem, writes reporter Ryan Briggs, could stem from an underfunded and incapacitated probation department. The county’s 271 full-time parole officers average 169 clients each. It’s a problem the city will look to address with help from its $3.5 million MacArthur Foundation grant.
Listen to Briggs chat about the report with WHYY‘s Dave Heller here.