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Study: Those on parole, probation involved in one out of five arrests

January 22, 2013 |  3:18 pm

  LA Arrest

A national research group that monitored crimes in four California cities says one out of five adults arrested for a crime is someone on parole or probation.

California corrections officials said the findings released Tuesday by the Council of State Governments' Justice Center suggest public perceptions that those on parole and probation are a high crime risk are not supported. The study found that nearly two-thirds of those arrested, 62%, had never been under law enforcement supervision.

Terri McDonald, undersecretary for prison and parole operations at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said the report's findings that parolees and probationers are twice as likely to be arrested for drug-related offenses points to the need for alternatives to incarceration.

"You cannot just use the jail bed for every problem," she said. "This reinforces the importance of us focusing on substance abuse treatment." 

The study examined criminal patterns in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco and Redlands from 2008 to June 2011. It did not directly capture the impact of California's prison realignment law, which in October 2011 shifted responsibility for low-level offenders and parole violators to counties.

Arrest rates for supervised offenders varied greatly by community. In San Francisco, just 11% of adults arrested were on parole or probation. In Sacramento, that figure was 30%. Los Angeles and Redlands had roughly the same rate of arrests of supervised adults -- between 22% and 23%.

The report also does not look at recidivism. State corrections officials in October reported that nearly two out of three people released from California prison are arrested for a new crime within three years.


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Photo: A man is led by LAPD officers in 2010. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times