Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Evaluating the Effectiveness of New Jersey's Halfway-Back Program

Melinda D. Schlager, New Jersey State Parole Board/Rutgers Unv
Mario A. Paparozzi, New Jersey State Parole Board

Historically, in the state of New Jersey, up to 150 offenders per month have been returned to state institutions where they are required to serve the remainder or some portion of their sentence due to parole violations. Returning such large numbers of offenders to prison comes at great cost; these offenders often take up space in prison that should otherwise be reserved for violent offenders. Furthermore, returning parole violators to prison may in fact lessen offenders' chances for successful reintegration into the community. Offender's whose violations are for technical reasons only may well be better served by being sent 'halfway back' to more restrictive programs than traditional parole supervision, but less restrictive methods of detainment than incarceration. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of New Jersey's halfway back program. Policy implications as well as assessments of offender outcome are assessed. Cost-benefit analyses are provided.

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Updated 05/20/2006