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date: 09 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article presents an overview of parole and prisoner re-entry. Section I defines parole and provides a brief history of American parole development. It describes the changes that occurred to parole in the 1980s and 1990s, resulting in a decline of focus on rehabilitation and discretionary parole release. Section II describes the characteristics of the parole population, including their education, work, and substance abuse histories. Section III is devoted to the rehabilitation and surveillance aspects of modern parole systems. It also outlines the many civil disabilities and legal restrictions governing a parolee's life after prison. Section IV summarizes parolee recidivism rates and the contribution of parolees to US crime rates. It explains the circumstances under which parole may be revoked and the pressure that such revocations place on current prison systems. Section V summarizes the principles of effective rehabilitation programs, drawing conclusions for re-entry program design. The final section provides thoughts on future research.

Keywords: American parole development, parolees, parole release, rehabilitation, parole systems, surveillance, recidivism

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