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Challenges of Prisoner Reentry and Parole in California

NCJ Number
Joan Petersilia
Date Published
June 2000
4 pages
This paper focuses on varied issues surrounding prisoner release, parole, and prison reentry in California.
Addressing the changing nature of the California prison system, this paper focuses on various issues of prisoner release, parole, and reentry into prison. Discussing determinant sentencing and the changing nature of parole, the author indicates that release from prison is a now privilege to be earned by prisoners. Focusing on recent tremendous growth in California’s prison population, this paper also addresses California’s prison building program, State funding to accomplish the program, and the fact this tremendous growth has meant that the number of parole agents has not kept pace with the casework load. Discussing what happens to prisoners once they are released, this author indicates that most parolees return to prison because they are unable to find gainful employment, making the topic of parolee recidivism a key issue for California’s policymakers. Highlighting social issues concerning prisoners and parolees, such as employment, neighborhood cohesiveness, and physical and metal health, this paper presents a variety of statistics to illustrate the current demographic make-up of California’s prisoners.