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Assessing the Impact of South Carolina's Parole and Probation Reforms: Justice Reinvestment Initiative

NCJ Number
Elizabeth Pelletier; Bryce Peterson; Ryan King
Date Published
April 2017
13 pages

This study examined the effectiveness of South Carolina's policy of using administrative responses to parole and probation violations instead of incarcerating people for violating the terms of their supervision.


This policy was part of a broader effort to reduce a rapidly growing prison population with attendant costs that strained the State's budget. After controlling for demographic and case-specific variables and the number of administrative responses to violations given, people who began their supervision after the implementation of the policy were less likely to be incarcerated than people in supervision before the policy was implemented. Because of limitations in data availability, however, the study was only able to examine how many administrative responses people received while on supervision but not how many supervision violations occurred or what responses were used for specific violations. The researchers recommend that South Carolina invest in the implementation of supervision reforms and develop a more standardized system that encourages evidence-based supervision practices. They also recommend that the State focus on performance measurement and improving data collection. Better data on supervision violations, agent responses, and outcomes will enable the State to be more precise in evaluating the effectiveness of its reforms and track progress over time. 4 figures, 2 tables , and 6 references

Date Published: April 1, 2017