Community Supervision

Many countries have high prison, probation and parole rates. However, most are working to reduce these numbers drastically as times are changing and different approaches are being explored, including rehabilitation instead of punitive ways. The United States has some of the highest incarceration, probation and parole rates compared to other countries, like Canada.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics published a report detailing the probation and parole rates in the United States for the year 2017-2018. Adults on probation make up 80% of those under community supervision and those on parole make up 20%. Overall, adult populations on probation or parole decreased about 2% from 4,508,900 individuals at the end of 2017 to 4,399,000 individuals at the end of 2018. The total community-supervision population in 2018 was at the lowest is has been since 1998 and has decreased each year since 2008. Parole numbers remain about the same with a slight increase as just shy of 1 million individuals serve parole.

Canada, compared to the United States, has a fraction of individuals under community supervision according to a Statistics of Canada report. Canada is divided into a provinces and territorial system but also the Federal government plays a role. The provinces manage their own remand, individuals not yet sentenced, and provincial correctional centers who is anyone serving a sentence of less than 2 years. The Federal government runs the prisons and correctional centers for anyone serving federal time, which is any sentence over 2 years. The provinces had 94,904 individuals under community supervision in the year 2017-2018 and the Federal government had less than 14,128 individuals.

Comparing these two countries together, the United States far succeeds the number of individuals in Canada on probation and parole. Rehabilitating people better into society and reducing recidivism is imperative when it comes to changing the criminal justice system in the United States. Additionally, more individuals need to be supported and the root of criminal activity discovered, as this will help improve incarceration, probation and parole rates, as these numbers are alarming.