News Release

APPA Supports House Plan for Economic Recovery
For Immediate Release: 01/21/2009

In today’s current economic climate, many issues are to be considered for inclusion in President Obama’s agenda for economic recovery. The American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) represents over 35,000 professionals working in the field of community corrections whose primary responsibility is to keep our communities safe by monitoring the behavior of the over 5 million people under probation or parole supervision in the United States.

The House of Representatives has proposed $3 billion to be included in Justice Assistance Grants (JAG) programs in its American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. APPA supports this proposal as vital to the nation’s economic recovery based on many factors. Corrections’ spending is one major concern as it represents a large portion of state expenditures and has shown dramatic increases in the past few years. Preliminary research done by APPA shows that spending in many states has increased for prisons and jails, but spending for probation and parole agencies has not kept pace with this same expansion to the offender population. Offenders deemed to be of less risk of re-offending or those who have been assessed at low-risk to their community are far more likely to be rehabilitated while under community supervision than those who are incarcerated. JAG funding is used to address the most pressing criminal and juvenile justice needs in local communities across the nation by leveraging state and local funds to prevent and fight crime in innovative ways including victims programs, school violence prevention, suppressing gangs and sex offender management. JAG funds also support jobs in our communities. Many states are now faced with budget cuts that will force them to eliminate jobs in corrections and that will ultimately lead to less safety in our communities.

APPA President Gary Hinzman notes that about 1 in every 45 adults in the U.S. was supervised in the community, either on probation or parole, at year-end 2007. Additionally, at least 95% of all state prisoners will be released from prison at some point and nearly 80% will be released to parole supervision . “In order to provide an adequate balance of intervention, treatment and supervision, community corrections needs to garner the resources necessary to curb victimization in our neighborhoods,“ Hinzman says. APPA calls for the new Administration and Congress to support community corrections as vitally important to the welfare and safety of all Americans.

Bureau of Justice Statistics, Probation and Parole in the United States, 2007, http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pandp.htm