The Wisconsin Community Corrections Story

Williams, Jared; Schiraldi, Vincent N.; Bradner, Kendra

Wisconsin serves as a good example of a place where parole and probation supervision are contributing to a prison population that is highly racially disparate and growing. The number of people under parole supervision in Wisconsin exceeds the national average, and lengths of stay on parole are estimated at nearly twice (1.7 times) the national average. Failure rates under supervision in Wisconsin are also higher than average for other states, both nationally and in the Great Lakes Region. Nationally, Black people are disproportionately supervised and disproportionately reincarcerated for supervision violations. Wisconsin rates of supervision and reincarceration for Black people are also higher than these already-inflated national numbers.

Ironically, then, these community-based mechanisms, which originated as alternatives to incarceration, are actually contributing to its rise in Wisconsin and elsewhere in the United States at the very time when the foundations of mass incarceration have been rejected by many on both sides of the aisle.
The good news is that states around the country have begun to safely and effectively reduce their rates of both supervision and revocation, as well as return to prison for violations. In this report, we will examine the state of community corrections in Wisconsin, concluding with recommendations for reducing the scope and negative impact of parole and probation supervision.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Justice Lab
Social Work
Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy
Justice Lab at Columbia University
Published Here
February 1, 2019