Probation and Parole Protective Factors

Probation and Parole Protective Factors

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1147-3.ch011
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We now have a $4 trillion federal budget. We can spend this budget to expand our prison complex consisting of 1,719 state prisons, 109 federal prisons, 1,772 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,163 local jails, 80 Indian country jails and military prisons and immigration detention facilities. Or, we can build-up our military-industrial complex (i.e., our $600 billion for national defense and an additional $255 billion for out foreign affairs), Department of Homeland Security, and State Department. Or, we can increase our $750.7 billion budget to implement social service grants to state and local governments, which combined are a set of “protective” factors for probation and parole clients.
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District Housing Need Vs Capacity Implementation Fidelity

In 2017, 42,091 District residents were on the public housing waiting list for only 23,879 public housing units and vouchers. Further, just 44 out of 100 families resided in affordable housing, and 7,000 were homeless. The Bureau of Prisons had contracted for less than 200 halfway house beds. Only 3,000 of the 26,000 affordable housing units have been created by the Housing Trust Fund in the last few years. Hence, it would take 30 years to create the amount needed. The Fair Criminal Record Screening for Housing Act was implemented in October 2017, so, the Act was so new that it is unlikely it helped the 932 probation and parole clients in need of assistance in 2017.

These facts suggest that the District’s various housing agencies were unable to assist the typical District resident. So, most likely, the District’s housing agencies would have been unable to assist the 932 clients referred by CSOSA’s caseworkers. If so, probation and parole agencies such as CSOSA can no longer make “cold” referrals believing that housing authorities will provide housing to their clients. In other words, housing homeless probation and parole clients can no longer be handled at the individual level (i.e., by probation and parole caseworker referrals of clients to local housing authorities). Instead, local officials (mayors, city council members, and local housing department directors) must now implement structural changes in housing development.

So, what might local authorities do to make structural changes in housing development? One idea is to increase nonprofit builder access to housing development funds. Griffith and Yentel (2016) indicate the names of some nonprofit national intermediaries, including organizations such as the Local Initiatives Support Coalition, the Enterprise Foundation, Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, and the Housing Assistance Council. These organizations help non-profit housing developers access tax credits, corporate equity investment, secondary mortgage markets, and lender commitments.

Griffith and Yentel continue:

  • Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) direct at least 60% of their lending activities to low-income neighborhoods. Certain states already grant preferential tax treatments to investments in CDFIs and other eligible community development organizations.

  • South Carolina offers a 33 percent credit against state tax liabilities for each dollar invested in or donated to state-certified CDFIs and community development corporations.

  • In California, investors receive a tax credit worth 20 percent of their investment into CDFIs and other entities that are part of the California Organized Investment Network

(Griffith & Yentel, 2016)

Federal Level Policy Protective Factors: Of the 43,000 inmates released from federal prison in 2016, 79 percent were released into a halfway house or home confinement, (Lynch & Harte, 2017). With this number in mind, Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates put forth a ten-point plan for reforming federal halfway houses. The most important reform should have been to withhold funds if adequate services were not provided. But, it was not. (Prison Legal News, 2017) and in 2017, The Bureau of Prisons decided to close (or not renew contracts with) 16 halfway houses around the country (Lynch & Harte, 2017).

Four federal policies can affect probation and parole housing capacity in the future: the National Housing Trust Fund, Low Income Housing Credits, Mortgage Interest Deductions and Middle Income Housing Tax Credits.

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