Parolee releases spike violent crime, study suggests

Sep 01, 2009
Parolee releases spike violent crime, study suggests
John Hipp, UC Irvine criminology professor, found that releasing parolees leads to an increase in violent neighborhood crime unless there are social programs in place to provide support. Photo by Daniel A. Anderson/University Communications

( -- California lawmakers may want to rethink a cost-cutting proposal to release at least 27,000 inmates from state prison in light of a new study linking parolees to increases in violent crime.

Led by UC Irvine criminologist John Hipp, the study found that, in most cases, reports of aggravated assault, robbery and burglary go up when parolees return to their - and that if they have violent backgrounds, murder rates increase.

However, crime rates decrease when parolees move back to neighborhoods with longtime residents, and they increase at a slower rate in areas with nonprofit groups offering economic resources and youth intervention programs. These findings suggest that social factors play a role in how communities handle an influx of parolees.

"It appears that services provided by volunteer organizations help returning parolees integrate back into society," said Hipp, criminology, law & society associate professor. "And stable neighborhoods often have the cohesiveness that discourages criminal behavior."

Researchers monitored parolees going back to Sacramento neighborhoods and month-to-month changes in crime rates from 2003 to 2006. The state capital was chosen for its nationally representative economic and ethnic demographics.

In an average month, increases in the parolee population correlated to a more than 8 percent rise in aggravated assault reports, a 20 percent jump in robbery reports and a nearly 10 percent upswing in burglary reports. Murder rates surged by about 20 percent when violent parolees returned to neighborhoods. Every year, U.S. jails and prisons release about 700,000 parolees.

"It would be wise for lawmakers to consider discretionary parole for violent offenders as an alternative to mandatory release," Hipp said.

UCI graduate student Daniel K. Yates co-authored the study, published this week in the journal . UCI's Center for Evidence-Based Corrections funded the study.

Provided by UC Irvine

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not rated yet Sep 01, 2009
u.s. incarceration policy has led us to the point where there are too many people in prison for crimes that people don't deserve their freedom to be stripped of them and thrown into a cage like an animal. now that there is no money to keep them caged, the guards' union and other corporate suppliers of the prison system will fight tooth and nail against lowering the amount of prisoners just because it keeps them in business. this fight will include funding 'research' and publishing things that aren't true.

uc irvine professors are liberal right? that doens't change anything. there is no money to keep people in jail . surprisingly there is no money for 'social programs either' this is NOT a reason to keep people in jail. california is broke. morally and monetarily. the answer to stop incarcerating people for non-violent crime. punishment lies in other answers.

a mistatement or myopic explanation of the cause of violence amongst parolees is a lie, intentionally drawn up by the prison system to keep more people in their grips.
not rated yet Sep 02, 2009
Simple solution: Only release NONVIOLENT offenders!