Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Good News About Parolees

This came from the January 29, 2012 Idaho Falls Post Register:
Statewide, there are about 15,100 offenders under supervision, said Nancy Espeseth, District 7 Probation and Parole manager.
Idaho's rate of parolees who commit new crimes is 38 percent, not including the parole violations that offenders may rack up while under supervision, Espeseth said.
First-time probationers have a lower rate, with a 6 percent chance of reoffending, she said.
Although some offenders struggle with successfully completing probation and parole requirements, "it can, and it is done," Espeseth said.
"The people that come through those doors are broken people," she said. "They have numerous problems - drug addiction, marital problems, employment problems, financial problems - and the chances of them violating probation is a reality and it's there."
What this means is that 62% of offenders on parole do not end up committing a new crime while they are being supervised.  That's an encouraging sign, and the article goes on to talk about the various programs that Idaho uses to try and fix these "broken people."  

And by the way, one of the reasons that I am far less confident that legalizing all drugs is going to be the wonderful solution that many want to believe is this comment from one of the parolees, and which I know reflects the situation for most felons:

Perotto, 37, was placed on probation for eight years following a 2007 kidnapping conviction that also sent him to jail for a year. He said he never would have committed the crime if he hadn't been addicted to methamphetamine.
While Perotto admits his addiction led him to a life of crime, he also fears trying to live his life without drugs.
One of the reasons that just about modern societies have tried to find ways to regulate or prohibit various intoxicants is because many people--usually a minority of users--can't seem to use intoxicants without it turning into a crime against others.  That alcohol is legal while most of the other intoxicants are illegal isn't because alcohol isn't a similar problem, but because alcohol has become so hopelessly intertwined with our culture that it seems impossible to root it out.  The prospect of other intoxicants also become this integral to our culture (as marijuana is rapidly doing) is discouraging.

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