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Crimeless Revocations: Sent Back to Prison for Rule Violations


According to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, in 2017, nearly 40% of the state’s prison population was made up of people sent back because of a parole or probation violation. Many of the individuals were re-incarcerated not for committing a new crime but rather for breaking a technical rule of community supervision. Nationally, the average for people imprisoned for a rule violation is 25%, making Wisconsin one of the states with the highest number of people in prison for this type of offense.

Many People on Community Supervision

Accounting for the high rate of re-incarceration is the number of people on probation or parole in Wisconsin. According to the state’s American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), nearly 66,000 individuals are on community supervision. The organization reports that is 5,000 more than the total number of people on parole and probation in Alaska Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming combined.

Unintentional Rule Breaking                                

Wisconsin has 18 standard rules that a person must follow when on community supervision, which range from being available for testing such as urinalysis to getting permission before moving or changing jobs. The individual is required to adhere to all terms until they expire.

With community supervision being so lengthy in Wisconsin, typically it is at least 25% of the original sentence, there is ample amount of time for a person to forget about a specific rule and inadvertently break it. When that happens, the individual could be sent back to prison, which could be for the total amount of time they were supposed to be on extended supervision. That means if a person with a term of 4 years breaks a technical rule, they could be re-incarcerated for that long.

Reconsidering Crimeless Revocations

Wisconsin’s prisons are overcrowded, and Governor Tony Evers said he is looking for ways to reduce the prison population by revamping crimeless revocations laws.

Schedule Your Free Consultation with the Law Offices of Christopher J. Cherella

Keeping up with the rules of extended service can be challenging. You might not be aware that certain actions could result in a revocation of your community supervision. If you’ve been charged with violating the terms of parole or probation, contact our attorney as soon as possible. When you retain our services, we will examine the details of your circumstances and fight for a fair result on your behalf.

Get 25 years of experience working for you by calling us at (414) 882-8382 or contacting us online.

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