Morenoff, Nguyen et al. link prison revolving door to self-perpetuating system processes
"Minor parole violations behind high rate of reincarceration" - UM News Service. 10/3/2017.
High rates of prison returns among former inmates have contributed significantly to the huge rise in incarceration in the US since 1970s. Using data on all 100,000+ people sentenced for a felony in Michigan, 2003-2006, and tracking them through 2013, a recent study by David Harding, Jeffrey Morenoff, Anh Nguyen, and Shawn Bushway compares the probability of (re)imprisonment among those sentenced to prison and those sentenced to probation. It also examines the reasons for (re)imprisonment. Their findings suggest that the "more stringent postprison parole supervision (relative to probation supervision) increases imprisonment through the detection and punishment of low-level offending or violation behavior." Morenoff says: "Our study provides some of the strongest evidence yet that being sentenced to prison increases the chances that someone convicted of a felony will recidivate, and it shows that the main force that sets the revolving door in motion is the likelihood of being sent back to prison for a technical violation of parole."
Additional Media Coverage:
"Parole violations, not new crimes, help drive prison’s revolving door" - Berkeley News. 10/03/2017.
"Study: Minor parole violations put a lot of ex-cons back in prison" - Michigan Radio. 10/4/2017.