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Beth McCann

District Attorney

Second Judical District

201 W, Colfax Ave, Dept. 801
Denver, CO 80202

720-913-2000
Beth.McCann@denverda.org

News Release

May 17, 2018 Contact: Ken Lane, 720-913-9025

DA McCann Urges Changes to Probation/Parole

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
May 17, 2018

CONTACT:
Miriam Aroni Krinsky
Executive Director, Fair and Just Prosecution
krinskym@krinsky.la; cell: 818 416 5218
Prosecutors, Criminal Justice Leaders Call For End
To Overuse of Probation and Parole

45 Current and Former Prosecutors Urge Limiting Community-Based Supervision—A Key Driver of Unnecessary Incarceration—and Redirecting Resources Toward Rehabilitation Efforts

NEW YORK, NEW YORK — Forty-five current and former prosecutors, including over 30 elected District Attorneys and state Attorneys General, banded together today to demand changes to probation and parole practices in this country.  Currently there are nearly 5 million Americans on probation and parole, a “community supervision” system that is a major contributor to unnecessary incarceration in this country.

A total of 31 elected prosecutors from 21 states and the District of Columbia signed the Statement on the Future of Community Corrections, noting that “we believe it is possible to both significantly reduce the footprint of probation and parole and improve outcomes and public safety.” Signators include: Attorneys General Karl Racine (District of Columbia) and T.J. Donovan, Jr. (Vermont); District Attorneys Diana Becton (Contra Costa, CA), Sherry Boston (Decatur, GA), John Chisholm (Milwaukee, WI), Scott Colom (Columbus, MS), Michael Dougherty (Boulder, CO), Mark Dupree (Kansas City, KS),  George Gascón (San Francisco, CA), Sim Gill (Salt Lake City, UT), Eric Gonzalez (Brooklyn, NY), Mark Gonzalez (Corpus Christi, TX), John Hummel (Bend, OR), Lawrence Krasner (Philadelphia, PA), Beth McCann (Denver, CO), Kim Ogg (Houston, TX), Marian Ryan (Lowell, MA), Tori Verber Salazar (Stockton, CA), David Soares (Albany, NY), David Sullivan (Northampton, MA), Raúl Torrez (Albuquerque, NM), and Cyrus Vance (New York, NY), State’s Attorneys Kim Foxx (Chicago, IL), Sarah F. George (Burlington, VT), Marilyn Mosby (Baltimore, MD) and Andrew Warren (Tampa, FL); Prosecuting Attorneys Dan Satterberg (Seattle, WA) and Carol Siemon (Lansing, MI); Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner (St. Louis, CO); City Attorney Pete Holmes (Seattle, WA); and Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Morales (Portsmouth, VA).
These prosecutors join more than 70 other prominent law enforcement, criminal justice, and probation and parole leaders and organizations who have also joined the Statement, which is managed by the Justice Lab at Columbia University.

While probation and parole were intended to limit the use of incarceration by providing an alternative to prison and a way to shorten prison terms, over the years they have had the opposite effect. Technical violations of the sometimes-stringent conditions of community corrections can lead to additional incarceration, even when no new crime has been committed. Indeed, today almost half of all individuals entering prison and jail were under community corrections at the time of their re-incarceration.

“For too long, probation and parole have been overlooked contributors to the challenges that plague our justice system and have filled our prisons and jails,” said Miriam Krinsky, Executive Director of Fair and Just Prosecution, a national network of elected prosecutors committed to change and innovation and one of the signators to the statement. “These public safety tools should set individuals on a pathway to success, not to unnecessary incarceration. Today elected  prosecutors—who play a critical role in justice system reform—are joining with other criminal justice leaders in urging a much-needed look at community corrections.”

“Policies that send someone back to prison simply for technical violations of parole or probation do not keep our communities safer and come at an exorbitant cost to taxpayers,” said Milwaukee DA John T. Chisholm, one of the elected prosecutors who signed the statement. “I am pleased to join dozens of other criminal justice leaders who agree that it’s time to scale back the overreach of probation and parole. The achievable but impactful reforms outlined in this statement will deliver public safety more effectively and compassionately.”

The Statement outlines strategies for safely reducing the number of people under community supervision by limiting the use of probation and parole to those individuals most at risk of offending, and only for as long as supervision is needed. It also recommends granting early discharge for those who exhibit progress, significantly curtailing supervision fees, and re-allocating savings to improve community based services and supports for people under supervision.

“We know that lengthy supervision terms not only strain limited public resources, but also act as a trip wire back to incarceration,” said Vincent Schiraldi, co-director of the Columbia University Justice Lab and former NYC Probation Commissioner. “Research has shown that the use of probation following release from incarceration has no impact on re-arrest rates. The success of several states has shown that it is possible to limit the use of probation and parole to only those who need to be supervised in order to truly improve public safety.”

The full statement is available here.

The full list of recent signators is below:

Current Prosecutive Leaders

  • Diana Becton, District Attorney, Contra Costa County, California
  • Sherry Boston, District Attorney, DeKalb County, Georgia
  • John T. Chisholm, District Attorney, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin
  • Scott Colom, District Attorney, 16th Circuit Court, Mississippi
  • Thomas J. Donovan, Jr., Attorney General, State of Vermont
  • Michael Dougherty, District Attorney, Boulder County, Colorado
  • Mark A. Dupree, Sr., District Attorney, Wyandotte County, Kansas
  • Kim Foxx, State’s Attorney, Cook County, Illinois
  • Kim Gardner, Circuit Attorney, City of St. Louis, Missouri
  • George Gascón, District Attorney, City and County of San Francisco, California
  • Sarah F. George, State’s Attorney, Chittenden County, Vermont
  • Sim Gill, District Attorney, Salt Lake County, Utah
  • Eric Gonzalez, District Attorney, Kings County, New York
  • Mark Gonzalez, District Attorney, Nueces County, Texas
  • Pete Holmes, City Attorney, Seattle, Washington
  • John Hummel, District Attorney, Deschutes County, Oregon
  • Lawrence S. Krasner, District Attorney, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Beth McCann, District Attorney, Denver, Colorado
  • Stephanie Morales, Commonwealth’s Attorney, Portsmouth, Virginia
  • Marilyn J. Mosby, State’s Attorney, Baltimore City, Maryland
  • Kim Ogg, District Attorney, Harris County, Texas
  • Karl Racine, Attorney General, District of Columbia
  • Marian Ryan, District Attorney, Middlesex County, Massachusetts
  • Tori Verber Salazar, District Attorney, San Joaquin County, California
  • Daniel Satterberg, Prosecuting Attorney, King County, Washington
  • Carol Siemon, Prosecuting Attorney, Ingham County, Michigan
  • David Soares, District Attorney, Albany County, New York
  • David Sullivan, District Attorney, Northwestern District, Massachusetts
  • Raúl Torrez, District Attorney, Bernalillo County, New Mexico
  • Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., District Attorney, New York County, New York
  • Andrew Warren, State Attorney, 13th Judicial Circuit, Florida

Former Prosecutive Leaders

  • Roy L. Austin, Former Deputy Assistant to the President for Urban Affairs, Justice and Opportunity, White House Domestic Policy Council; Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Kenyen Brown, Former U.S. Attorney, Southern District of Alabama
  • Kim Cheney, Former Attorney General, State of Vermont
  • Lisa Foster, Former Director, Office for Access to Justice, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Barry Grissom, Former U.S. Attorney, District of Kansas
  • Vanita Gupta, Former Head of the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Scott Harshbarger, Former Attorney General, State of Massachusetts
  • Tim Heaphy, Former U.S. Attorney, Western District of Virginia
  • Miriam Aroni Krinsky, Executive Director, Fair and Just Prosecution; Former Criminal Appellate Chief and Chief, General Crimes, United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California; Former Chair, Solicitor General’s Criminal Appellate Advisory Group
  • Anne Milgram, Former Attorney General, State of New Jersey
  • J. Tom Morgan, Former District Attorney, DeKalb County, Georgia
  • Jim Petro, Former Attorney General, State of Ohio
  • Ira Reiner, Former District Attorney, Los Angeles County, California; Former City Attorney, Los Angeles, California
  • Carter Stewart, Former U.S. Attorney, Southern District of Ohio

Fair and Just Prosecution is a national network of elected prosecutors working towards common-sense, compassionate criminal justice reforms.  To learn more about FJP’s work, visit www.fairandjustprosecution.org or follow us on Facebook @FairAndJustProsecution.

The Columbia Justice Lab works for a community-centered justice, in which incarceration is no longer used as a solution to problems that are often rooted in poverty and racial inequality. To learn more about the Justice Lab’s work, visit http://justicelab.iserp.columbia.edu/ or follow us on Twitter @CUJusticeLab.