The federal community supervision system is in need of reforms that promote fairness and justice, and can look to changes and innovations in state and local level supervision as a guide to creating transformation. This article begins with a brief overview of the history of both the state and federal supervision systems and then describes the current problematic state of what is now being called “mass supervision” – including the substantial growth in community supervision and mounting concerns with technical violations and revocations propelling cycles of incarceration and racial disparities. The article highlights reforms and initiatives in supervision that are being implemented at the state and local levels as an increasing number of elected district attorneys across the country have taken action to limit supervision lengths and incarceration for technical violations and end the practice of automatically opposing parole release. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, states, counties, courts, and local probation and parole agencies also took quick action to revisit and limit community supervision without negatively impacting public safety. Lastly, the article sets forth recommendations to build a fair and just federal community supervision system, including by: reducing the use of supervised release; revisiting onerous terms, conditions and length of supervision; ending the imposition of lifetime supervision; eliminating the needless cycle of incarceration for technical violations; addressing racial disparities; identifying opportunities for early termination from supervision; and considering reinstatement of parole.
Building a Fair and Just Federal Community Supervision System: Lessons Learned from State and Local Reform Efforts
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Miriam Krinsky, Monica Fuhrmann; Building a Fair and Just Federal Community Supervision System: Lessons Learned from State and Local Reform Efforts. Federal Sentencing Reporter 1 June 2022; 34 (5): 340–349. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fsr.2022.34.5.340
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