Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Study: Late Parole Is No Deterrent

Detroit News

Lansing -- Keeping inmates in prison past their earliest parole dates does little to reduce crime, according to a study released today by a Michigan public policy group.

The findings come as Michigan plans to parole 3,000 more felons this year than in previous years to curb rising prison costs.

The study by the nonprofit Citizens Alliance on Prisons and Public Spending followed for four years 76,721 Michigan prisoners released for the first time between 1986 and 1999 to determine whether they came back to prison for a new crime or parole violation.

Researchers concluded that denying parole when prisoners first become eligible does very little to reduce crime rates.

The data showed those convicted of homicide and sex offenses rarely commit new crimes against people, and serving more time does not increase the likelihood of success upon release.

The study found:

• While 18 percent returned to prison with a new sentence within four years of their release, only 4.5 percent were returned for a new crime against a person. Returns for larceny, drugs and burglary were by far the most common.

• Re-offense rates vary widely by crime type. Criminals who commit financially motivated crimes are the most likely to return to prison; 3 percent of sex offenders returned for a new sex offense and less than 1 percent of homicide offenders returned for another homicide.

• Overall, 61 percent were released when first eligible but that also varied widely by offense. About 30 percent were kept one or two additional years, then released. Prisoners with the lowest re-offense rates were most likely to be denied parole.

• Length of time served was not associated with success up

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