The number of state prison parolees freed from supervision under California parole law has dramatically increased in recent months. This is result of a new law that allows parolees who were last arrested for a non violent or non sexual offense, to be discharged from parole supervision in as little as six months. They were previously required to wait at least one year before they could be taken off parole.
In April 2012, approximately 8,500 parolees were taken off of parole supervision. Only 1,300 were released in March by contrast. The increase in the amount of convicts being taken off parole is a direct response to sharp state government budget cuts in California and the widespread outcry against prison overcrowding in California.
Once a parolee is taken off of parole supervision, a parolee will receive fewer rehabilitation services such as counseling, drug intervention, and housing assistance. These services are designed to ease the parolee’s transition back into society. Taking a parolee off of parole supervision also limits the ability of police to monitor the parolee’s conduct.
As a result, many law enforcement officials feel that this drastic increase in parole release will result in recidivism (repeated commission of crimes by released convicts). While California parole law is known to change rapidly, the State’s budget crisis will not be a quick fix. Thus, law enforcement officials are expecting an even greater increase in parole releases in the latter half of 2012.