Summary: Probation Shortfalls In Virginia

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Probation Shortfalls in Virginia Within the Virginia Department of Corrections is the Community Corrections office whose goal is to provide public safety, ensuring that the public is “free of danger, injury and damage caused by those who choose not to obey the law” (Virginia Department of Corrections, n.d.). Probation officers take on a great deal of responsibility in supervising probationers. Virginia Code 53.1-145, provides powers and duties of probation and parole officers. As an officer who is to supervise a probationer, the officer is to ensure the offender is housed, is offered and or placed on a substance abuse treatment program, and provides a written statement of probation to the offender. Concerns of whether or not a probationer …show more content…
Recidivism is studied so that correctional departments understand how affective a treatment program for probation or parole is performing. Not only that, the increasing numbers of incarceration without prior convictions is creating a lack of space in local jails and the state’s prison system. The Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) “studies recidivism to gather information on the success of offenders re-entering society once released from State Responsible (SR) incarceration” (Virginia Department of Corrections, 2014). The VADOC studies recidivism in three categories: re-arrest, re-conviction and re-incarceration – all ranging from six to 36 …show more content…
Though, the focus is limited to the reasons why recidivism occurs. Previous studies and discussions focused on the percent of those reentering society and how long it took to become re-incarcerated (Keegan and Soloman, 2004). With Keegan and Solomans’ (2004) report of prisoner reentry in Virginia, it focused on the characteristics and challenges prisoners face when released back in to society. The most recent comprehensive study was conducted in 2004 which covered a decade of prisoners who were released on parole or probation. Nearly half of the released offenders between 1994 and 2004 were placed back in prison for violation of their probation. According to the Pew Center on the States (2011) 43.3 percent of people released were re-incarcerated within three years. Pew Center on the States (2011) then took a state-by-state look at the recidivism rates to understand what policy makers need to better the correctional system, which is currently focused on deterrence. With a limiting spending budget and a focus to build more correction facilities, most state and national leaders have just started to focus on the safety of the community with reentry prisoners (Pew Center on the States,

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