The Probation and Parole Trap

Probation and parole were designed to be an alternative to incarceration so people can pay their debt to society and be redirected back to work without wasting prison space. But instead, these systems create a series of trap doors that lock people back up – not for committing new crimes, but often for things like showing up a few minutes late for an appointment or crossing city lines to pick up their child for school. They’ve become systems that prepare people for prison, not productivity.

Right now, people under probation or parole make up the vast majority of our criminal justice system, yet the issue has received relatively little attention. We can make smart, common-sense reforms right now and create meaningful pathways to work, wellness and stability for the millions of people who are trapped in this broken system—all while making communities safer and saving taxpayers money.

Our Approach

REFORM is bringing together bipartisan experts, system leaders, advocates, and policymakers on common-sense solutions to transform probation and parole, dramatically reduce the number of people needlessly trapped in the criminal justice system and dramatically increase the number of people moving from supervision to work and wellbeing.

Prison to Freedom Pipeline

REFORM focuses on breaking the supervision-to-prison pipeline and seeks replace it with one that creates clear and fair pathways to work, wellness and stability; that will create safer communities for us all.