BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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Home  |  Reentry Trends in the U.S.
Reentry Trends in the U.S.


Discharge refers to individuals exiting parole supervision. Successful discharges include persons who have completed the term of conditional supervision. Unsuccessful discharges include revocations of parole, returns to prison or jail, and absconders. Parolees who are transferred to other jurisdictions and those who die while under supervision are not included in the calculation of success/failure rates.

Federal Supervised Release established by the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 (SRA), is a term of conditional community supervision set by the court at the time of sentencing. The SRA also abolished release by a parole board, required a determinate sentence term, and limited the amount of good time that can be credited toward the sentence.

Parole is a period of conditional community supervision following a prison term. If the conditions of supervision are violated, the parolee can be returned to prison to serve any of the remaining portion of the sentence.

- Discretionary parole exists when a parole board has authority to conditionally release prisoners based on a statutory or administrative determination of eligibility.

- Mandatory parole generally occurs in jurisdictions using determinate sentencing statutes in which inmates are conditionally released from prison after serving a specified portion of their original sentence minus any good time earned.

Parole violators are offenders returned to prison for violating the conditions of their release or for a new offense committed while under parole supervision.

Part 1 violent crimes, as defined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reports, include murder, nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

Prison releases

- Expiration of sentence includes inmates whose maximum court sentence minus credits has been served and are released without any term of community supervision.

- First releases are inmates released from prison for the first time on their current offense.

- Re-releases are inmates leaving prison after having served time either for a violation of parole or other conditional release or for a new offense committed while under parole supervision.

Recidivism is measured by criminal acts that resulted in the rearrest, reconviction, or return to prison with or without a new sentence during a three-year period following the prisoner's release.

Reentry is a broad term used to refer to issues related to the transition of offenders from prison to community supervision. Reentry on this site refers to persons released from State or Federal prisons or discharged from State parole, Federal parole, or Federal Supervised Release. Persons released from local jails are not included.

State parole includes the conditional release of offenders under the jurisdiction of a State agency or authority.

Truth-in-sentencing refers to release policies that require offenders to serve a certain percentage of their sentence before becoming eligible for release from prison.

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