The Pennsylvania Community Corrections Story
The sentencing of Philadelphia rap artist Meek Mill to imprisonment for probation violations committed a decade after his original offense has focused attention on probation and parole practices nationally and in Pennsylvania (NBC News 2017; Jay-Z 2017).
Unfortunately, Pennsylvania serves as a good example of how high rates of probation and parole can go hand-in-hand with, and contribute to, high incarceration rates. Pennsylvania has the highest incarceration rate in the Northeast, coupled with the third highest percentage of its citizens on probation and parole in the country. According to the Council of State Governments Justice Center (2017). Pennsylvania’s incarceration rate increased by 16% from 2005 to 2014, compared to New York’s and New Jersey’s which have declined by 18% and 24%, respectively.
While one out of every 53 adults is supervised by probation and parole nationally, in Pennsylvania, one out of every 34 adults is under community supervision, a rate 36% higher than the national average (Kaeble and Bonczar 2016). Only Georgia and Idaho have higher rates of community supervision than Pennsylvania.
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