Probation and Parole

Founded as either an up-front diversion from incarceration (probation) or a back-end release valve to prison crowding (parole), community corrections in the United States has grown far beyond what its founders could have imagined, with a profound, unintended impact on incarceration. With 4.5 million adults under community corrections supervision in America (more than double the number in prison and jail), probation and parole have become a substantial contributor to our nation’s mass incarceration dilemma as well as a deprivation of liberty in their own right.

Through a combination of research, policy development, capacity building, technical assistance, and communications, the Probation and Parole Reform Project at the Justice Lab works to reimagine supervision systems across the United States.

A key component of this work is done through convening Executives Transforming Probation and Parole (EXiT), a group of current and former probation and parole executives who are working to reduce the number of people under supervision, reduce revocations and returns to prison for minor misbehavior, and make community supervision fairer, more helpful, and more reintegrative. Learn more on the EXiT website here.

Resources on Probation and Parole

Two months later: Outcomes of the March 27th order to release people jailed for technical violations during the pandemic. Vincent Schiraldi. May 2020.

Statement from community supervision executives on the importance of using best practices during the COVID-19 crisis. March 2020.

Racial Inequities in New York Parole Supervision. Kendra Bradner and Vincent Schiraldi. March 2020.

Statement on the Future of Probation & Parole in the United States. Executives Transforming Probation and Parole. August 2019.

The Wisconsin Community Corrections Story. Jarred Williams, Vincent Schiraldi, and Kendra Bradner. January 2019.

The Pennsylvania Community Corrections Story. Vincent Schiraldi. April 2018.

Too Big to Succeed: The impact of the growth of community corrections and what should be done about it. January 2018.

        Watch a recording of the paper release event: YouTube

Less is More in New York: An Examination of the Impact of State Parole Violations on Prison and Jail Populations. Vincent Schiraldi and Jennifer Arzu. January 2018.

          Watch a recording of the paper release event: YouTube

Less Is More: How Reducing Probation Populations Can Improve Outcomes. Michael P. Jacobson, Vincent Schiraldi, Reagan Daly, and Emily Hotez. August 2017. 

Statement on the Future of Community Corrections. August 2017.

Toward an Approach to Community Corrections for the 21st Century. Executive Session on Community Corrections. July 2017.

Vincent Schiraldi: The Criminal Law Reformer Who Transformed Probation in New York City. Stacy Sullivan. Human Rights Watch, July 31, 2020.

Press Conference: Revoked, How Probation and Parole Feed Mass Incarceration in the United States. Human Rights Watch, July 31, 2020.

Parole and Probation Reform in the COVID-19 Era. Caroline Harting. Columbia News, July 31, 2020.

We Should Listen to Rayshard Brooks About Probation. Vincent Schiraldi. USA Today, June 23, 2020.

Stop Putting People in Prison for Small Parole and Probation Rule Violations. David Muhammad and Vincent Schiraldi. Los Angeles Times, June 17, 2020.

Probation Conditions Relaxed During The Pandemic. Some Say They Should Stay That Way. The Appeal. Lauren Lee White, June 8, 2020.

‘This is Madness’: New Yorkers in Jail Despite COVID Pledges. Andrea Cipriano. The Crime Report, May 28, 2020.

Nearly 240 Technical Parole Violators Remain Locked Up, Two Months After Cuomo Release Plan. David Brand. Queens Daily Eagle, May 27, 2020.

Vincent Schiraldi on WBAI Evening News, 24:00. Pacifica Radio in New York City, May 27, 2020.

How Missed Appointments or Curfews Can Lead to COVID-19. Vincent Schiraldi, City & State New York. May 19, 2020.

A Dangerous Limbo: Probation and Parole in the Time of COVID-19. Beth Schwartzapfel, The Marshall Project. May 6, 2020.

Rethinking Democracy. Trinity College Dublin and Columbia University, May 6, 2020. [Video + Podcast]

47 Minor Parole Violators Brought to NYC Jails Despite Cuomo's Promise of Coronavirus Release. Denis Slattery and Chelsia Rose Marcius, New York Daily News. April 24, 2020.

Podcast with Vincent Schiraldi. Lisa Rea, Restorative Justice International. April 29, 2020.

Study Finds NY's Parole System Disproportionately Incarcerates Minorities. Jim Levulis, WAMC. April 21, 2020.

The Case for Smarter Parole in New York: Richard Hara with Vincent Schiraldi and Marcellus Morris. Columbia University School of Social Work. April 18, 2020.

The Purgatory of Parole Incarcerations During the Coronavirus Crisis. Jennifer Gonnerman, The New Yorker. April 11, 2020

Probation and Parole Officers Are Rethinking Their Rules As Coronavirus Spreads. Beth Schwartzapfel, The Marshall Project. March 3, 2020.

This is the moment to fix parole: Coronavirus puts New York’s overly punitive system front and center. Vincent Schiraldi. New York Daily News. April 1, 2020.

Nevadans on parole, probation during coronavirus still have to pay fees. Dalton LaFerney. Las Vegas Review-Journal. March 23, 2020.

Blacks, Latinos Bear Brunt Of Parole-Based Jail Time In NY. Kevin Penton, Law360. March 22, 2020.

How Coronavirus May Change Criminal Justice. RJ Vogt, Law360. March 22, 2020.

Justice Experts Appeal for Smaller Probation Footprint During Pandemic. John Kelly, The Chronicle of Social Change. March 17, 2020.

NY's Parole System Rife With 'Structural Racism'. J.B. Nicholas, The Gothamist. March 13, 2020.

How Probation Limbo Can Crush The Promise Of A Fresh Start. Matt Fair, Law 360. January 26, 2020.

Black West Baltimore Is Still Waiting for Equity. Cristina Maza, Talk Poverty. January 14, 2020.

Awakening to a Mass-Supervision Crisis. Priscilla A. Ocen, The Atlantic. December 26, 2019.

Notes On Probation and Parole from New York City. Right on Crime, December 19, 2019. Scott Peyton.

Can we please talk about probation and parole? Supervision programs are throwing people back behind bars for technical violations. Barbara Broderick and Vincent Schiraldi, NY Daily News. December 10, 2020.

Changing the Culture of Community Supervision. Isidoro Rodriguez, The Crime Report. December 10, 2019.

As Parole Drives Incarceration, Can NY’s Bar Spur Reforms? RJ Vogt, Law 360. December 8, 2019. 

Prepping for Parole. Jennifer Gonnerman, The New Yorker. November 25, 2019.

How to End the Era of Mass Incarceration. David Muhammad and Vincent Schiraldi, The Chronicle of Social Change. September 30, 2019.

Why Probation and Parole May Need A Reboot. Law 360, September 29, 2019. RJ Vogt.

10 Probation Agencies Chosen to Lead Initiative to 'Transform' Community Supervision. The Crime Report, September 24, 2019. TCR Staff.

Locking up parolees for minor infractions costs city $190 million per year: report. Brooklyn Daily Eagle, August 27, 2019. David Brand and Noah Goldberg.

CNN’s Van Jones, Probation and Parole Leaders Endorse Call to Reduce and Reimagine Supervision. The Chronicle of Social Change, August 19, 2019. Jeremy Loudenback.

Mass. Probation Commissioner Joins National Effort To Reform Court-Ordered Supervision. WBur News, August 19, 2019. Deborah Becker.

OPINION: ‘You are still a slave’: How ‘reforms’ expand our racially unjust ‘criminal justice’ system. Milwaukee NNS, July 30, 2019. Barbara Miner and Dr. Robert Smith.

Unlock The Vote: A Call For Inclusion and Equity. Madison 365, July 30, 2019. State Sen. Lena Taylor. 

Why Offenders In Wisconsin Go Back To Prison Without Committing New Crimes. WisContext, July 1, 2019. Izabela Zaluska, Wisconsin Watch. 

What Do Abolitionists Really Want? The Marshall Project, June 13, 2019. Bill Keller. 

"End the tyranny of parole violations." New York Daily News, June 13, 2019. Vincent Schiraldi.

New York’s crushing parole system snags an activist, deacon and mentor. The Washington Post, May 23, 2019. Radley Balko.

The travesty of parole in New York. Crain's New York, May 1, 2019. Vincent Schiraldi, Vanda Seward and Michael P. Jacobson.

He was shot in the back alongside Nipsey Hussle. Then he found out he’d violated parole. Los Angeles Times, April 25, 2019. David Muhammad and Vincent Schiraldi.

Commentary: Supporting parole reform. Times Union, April 20, 2019. Jonathan Lippman, David Soares and Vincent Schiraldi.

Lock the parole-prison revolving door: Rethink a system that's sending far too many people away for minor violations. New York Daily News, February 10, 2019. Jonathan Lippman and Vincent Schiraldi.

Wisconsin must close Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility to reform criminal justice. The Cap Times, January 24, 2019. DeAnna Hoskins and Vincent Schiraldi.

What would the end of mass incarceration look like? Crain's New York, December 27, 2018. Vincent Schiraldi.

"Larry Krasner’s Campaign to End Mass Incarceration." New Yorker, October 29, 2018. Jennifer Gonnerman.

Revoking Parole for Marijuana Use Makes No Sense. NYT Opinion, October 25, 2018. Vincent Schiraldi.

Five Ex-NYC Commissioners Call for End to Pot Testing of Probationers. The Crime Report, October 16, 2018. TCR Staff.

Five former probation commissioners urge officials to stop testing parolees for marijuana. New York Daily News, October 16, 2018. Reuven Blau.

Jealous plan to further reduce Md. prison population: sound strategy. The Baltimore Sun, September 09, 2018. Marc Schindler and Vincent Schiraldi. 

Parole and probation have grown far beyond resources allocated to support them. The Conversation, August 16, 2018. Vincent Schraldi.

Williams urges Senate to end “America’s terrible experimentPhiladelphia Tribune, June 1, 2018. Louis Bolling.

Larry Krasner: Time to rethink probation and parolePhiladelphia Inquirer, May 25 2018. Miriam Krinsky and DA Larry Krasner.

Statement on the future of community supervision; DA Krasner, Columbia University researcher Vincent Schiraldi discuss Pa.’s excessive probation and parole rates. May 17, 2018. Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.

Meek Mill's not alone. Study finds 'indefensible' overuse of probation, parole in Pennsylvania. Philadelphia Inquirer, April 25, 2018. Samantha Melamed.

The chances New York's parolees deserve. New York Daily News, April 20, 2018. NYDN Editorial Board.

Why should we keep murderers in prison until they die? Parole makes moral sense, even for cop-killers. New York Daily News, March 20, 2018. Bruce Western and Bernard Harcourt.

The Recidivism Trap. The Marshall Project, March 14, 2018. Vincent Schiraldi and Jeffrey A. Butts.

"Beyond #CLOSErikers: Why Reforming Probation & Parole Is Necessary, Too. [link to livestream recording]." March 7, 2018. Office of Professional Education at Columbia School of Social Work, the Columbia Justice Lab, and the Criminal Justice Caucus.

Avoiding the Prison-To-Shelter Pipeline: A Path to Life on the Outside. NY1, March 6 2018. Inside City Hall.

Justice Lab's Vincent Schiraldi Proposes Reforms to Probation, ParoleColumbia News, February 23, 2018. Bridget O’Brian & Vincent Schiraldi.

The Problem With ParoleNew York Times, February 11, 2018. Editorial Board.

Probation and Parole and Mass IncarcerationBrian Lehrer Show with Vincent Schiraldi and Tom Zwillich, February 6, 2018. WNYC.

Criminal justice reforms empty cells, parole fills them up againNew York Times, February 2, 2018. Ginia Bellafante.

Probation and Parole ProposalsNY 1, February 1, 2018. Inside City Hall.

Top Officials Call for 50% Cut in Probation, ParoleThe Crime Report, January 29, 2018.  TCR Staff.

Radically Reforming America's Parole and Probation Systems. The Takeaway, January 29 2018. WNYC.

Reports: Changes needed to parole and probation system. Associated Press, January 29, 2018. David Klepper.

A probation explosion keeps too many chained. New York Daily News, January 29, 2018. Vincent Schiraldi.