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How minor probation and parole violations are bolstering incarceration rates in Philadelphia

Probation should exist as an alternative to prison. July 6, 2016 Category: PurposeResults

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.

Read the full story

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.


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