Limit Jail Time for People Whose Parole or Probation is Revoked Due to Technical Violations
People on parole or probation have to comply with many rules and policies to avoid imprisonment. Technical rule violations include missing a restitution payment, moving without permission, or associating with friends or family members who have felony records. These violations may be completely unrelated to the original crime for which a person was convicted. Most notably, these violations have no victims.
The 2017 Justice Reinvestment reforms decreased maximum jail terms for some people with technical violations – from 90 days down to 15 days for the first technical violation, 30 days for the second, and 45 days for the third or subsequent violation. People who technically violate probation or parole have not harmed anyone and present no danger to public safety. Shorter jail terms for these violations would allow people to more easily get back on the right track, without losing their jobs or causing instability for their families.
Limiting jail time for technical violations was a recommendation of the non-partisan Justice Reinvestment Task Force, which included the voices of crime survivors, district attorneys, judges, Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, and law enforcement. The Task Force used data driven, evidence-based research to craft this recommendation to the Louisiana Legislature.
Jail time limits for technical violations differ based on the initial offense, even though the violation may be unrelated to that offense.
• The current scale for maximum jail time for technical violations applies only if the person’s underlying conviction was for a nonviolent, non-sex crime.
• Even though technical violations may be unrelated to the original conviction, jail stays for revocation currently depend on that initial conviction.
Jailing people for technical violations is expensive.
• It costs about $24 a day to hold a person in a parish jail. It currently costs Louisiana taxpayers at least $2,160 every time a person with certain types of convictions receives a technical revocation. This cost is even higher for a person whose parole or probation is revoked for the same technical violation – but who then must be in prison for the remainder of their sentence – even though the technical violation was unrelated to the underlying conviction.
• More than half of the 2016 admissions to Louisiana prisons were for revocations of community supervision – such as probation and parole – and nearly one in every five admissions was for people who had technical violations while on parole or probation, such as missing a curfew or failing to report for an office visit.
Support HB 526 (Bagneris): Limits jail time for all people on probation or parole who technically violate probation or parole, regardless of the initial conviction.