The Elusive Second Chance for People on Probation.

Technical violations are reminders that America’s mass incarceration problem has nothing to do with moral decline.

Simone Chérie
Antiparty

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Credit: DMVDaily, Fair Use.

Twitter collectively gasped after learning about a criminal case involving 76-year-old grandmother, Gwen Levi. Levi was recently arrested for violating her probation because she missed several phone calls from a protection observer during a computer class. Her probation was revoked, and she was arrested. She is currently awaiting transfer from a prison in Washington, DC to a federal facility, according to her lawyer, Sapna Milchandani.

While Levi was innocent of breaking any laws, she is guilty of a technical violation. A technical violation is any non-criminal action that violates the terms of an individual’s supervision sentence. Technical violations are most commonly breaking a curfew, missing an appointment, failing to report, failure to update a phone number, committing a minor traffic violation, or similar.

Levi is hardly a rare case. More than 95,000 Americans are arrested daily for a technical violation of their probation. Researchers identified that as many as two-thirds of a state’s prison admissions result from supervision violations. Up to one-quarter of prison admissions stem strictly from technical…

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Simone Chérie
Antiparty

Legal Reform Advocate and Perpetual Optimist. 👩🏽‍💻Grad Student @EmoryLaw.