According to a 2019 report out of the CSG Justice Center, nearly half of people admitted to state prisons throughout the United States are there as a result of violating their probation or parole. In Maryland specifically, only 4% of prisoners are admitted from parole or probation violations. Still, the personal and economic costs of this phenomenon remain a nationwide problem. Criminal justice advocates say that the research should spur a call to action.
Probation and parole systems are supposed to be designed to help former inmates avoid incarceration and move on with their lives, but the data shows that the system is not serving that purpose in most states. Many people are put back in prison as the result of minor crimes, and some 95,000 people are locked up each day simply due to a technical violation of their parole or probation.
On any given day in the United States, nearly one in four incarcerated people is there as a result of a supervision violation. In some states, this can be one in three incarcerated people. Estimates show that this system costs states nearly $10 billion per year. The situation has caught the attention of several famous musicians and athletes who have started a new organization aimed at stopping the problem.
Individuals who have been incarcerated as the result of a violation of parole or probation have the right to representation from an attorney who practices criminal defense. An attorney may argue on their client’s behalf at their hearing to arrange a release or see if the penalty for their violation can be reduced. The attorney is responsible for making sure that their client understands their options through every step of the process.