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Home  |  Reentry Trends in the U.S.
Reentry Trends in the U.S.

Success rates for State parolees

State parole success unchanged since 1990

To view data, click on the chart.

Percent of parole discharges successfully completing supervision, 1983-99[D]
Among State parole discharges in 2000:
- 41% successfully completed their term of supervision (relatively unchanged since 1990)
- 42% were returned to prison or jail
- 9% absconded

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.

In every year during the 1990's, first releases were more likely to have been successful on parole than re-releases.

Re-releases are persons 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.

In every year between 1990 and 2000, State prisoners released by a parole board had higher success rates than those released through mandatory parole. Among parole discharges in 2000, 54% of discretionary parolees were successful compared to 35% of those who had received mandatory parole.

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.

See also Characteristics of releases to State parole

BJS Sources:
Probation and Parole in the United States, 2002, August, 2003
Trends in State Parole, 1990-2000, October, 2001.

Related information

From BJS

Topical pages

National, State, and Federal correctional data in spreadsheets
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