December 1, 2016
Revocation—being incarcerated for breaking the rules of a supervision arrangement (like parole, probation, or extended supervision)—feeds the mass incarceration cycle in the United States. Estimates suggest that across the U.S., half of the people in jails and more than one-third of the people entering prison are locked up for a revocation.A large number of people are incarcerated for breaking the rules of supervision, but do not commit a new crime. In Wisconsin, the Department of Corrections (DOC) put about 3,000 people in prison in 2015 alone for what DOC calls a "revocation without a new offense," meaning there was not a new criminal conviction. These people will serve an average of 1.5 years in prison without being convicted of a new crime—and cost Wisconsin $147.5 million dollars in the process.