Recently, the Bureau of Justice Statistics released annual probation and parole numbers for 2010, which showed a slight decrease — about 1 percent — in the number of people on community supervision across the country.
The state of Kansas, however, showed a slight increase in probation and parole numbers, while Douglas County caseload statistics spiked during the past few years. Here’s a look at some of the numbers:
• Probation caseload increased by 1 percent during 2010, up to 17,402. Those on parole also increased by about 1 percent during 2010, to 5,063.
• 812 of every 100,000 Kansans were on probation at the end of 2010, much lower than the national average of 1,711 per 100,000 people.
• 236 of every 100,000 Kansans were on parole at the end of 2010, while the national average is 312 per 100,000 people.
• The number of Douglas County residents on parole has increased the past two years, from 107 in 2009 to 136 in 2011.
• Douglas County residents sentenced to probation has also seen a similar increase since 2009, from 113 to 140 in 2011.
Here’s what Nancy La Vigne, director of justice policy at the Urban Institute, said about the national outlook for probation and parole:
• As cash-strapped states look to reduce costs, there could be significant changes in community corrections and prison in the coming years.
• What those changes will be, however, is not yet clear. One possibility is that both probation and parole numbers could increase, as fewer offenders are sent to prison and more inmates are released.
• Each state faces unique budgetary challenges, so it’s difficult to make strong predictions about how statewide changes will affect national numbers.