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Key Takeaway

The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center’s third report on the impact of supervision violations is based on 4 years of data from all 50 state corrections departments.  The data within highlights a complex story: while the number of nationwide state prison admissions from community supervision decreased by one-third from 2018 to 2021, the impact of supervision violations varied vastly state to state. Additionally, despite a national decline, community supervision’s proportion of the prison system has remained relatively consistent since the CSG Justice Center’s first report, with 44 percent of all state prison admissions in 2021 being people who violated the terms of their parole or probation sentences. 

Report Highlights

Nationally, fewer people were incarcerated due to supervision violations in 2021 than were in 2018. However, these incarcerations still resulted in a high financial cost to states and continued disparities between Black and White Americans in the justice system. 

Changes in state prison admissions and state prison populations as a result of community supervision violations varied across states. While some states saw up to 50 percent reductions, others experienced up to 19 percent increases. 

Despite the national decline in incarceration for supervision violations, community supervision is still a large driver of state prison populations. One in 4 people in state prison in 2021 were incarcerated due to violating the terms of their supervision.