Probation, a court-ordered sanction for misdemeanor and felony-level offenses in which individuals are supervised in the community is the largest form of criminal justice supervision. At its peak in 2007, 1 in every 53 adults (and 1 in 12 black men) were on probation. Yet this form of punishment is typically neglected in sociological research, understating the reach—and mischaracterizing the form—of penal control. In my research, I define mass probation and explain its causes and consequences.
Ongoing work in this area is under my Mass Probation & Health project.
Phelps, Michelle S. and Ebony Ruhland. Forthcoming. “Governing Marginality: Coercion and Care in Probation.” Social Problems.
Winkelman, Phelps, Mitchell, Jennings, and Shlafer. 2020. “Physical Health and Disability among Adults on Community Supervision in the United States.” Journal of Correctional Health Care 26(2): 129-137.
Phelps. 2020. “Mass Probation Across the U.S.: States’ Control Regimes from 1980 to 2016” in Criminal Justice Theory: Explanation and Effects, Cecilia Chouhy, Joshua C. Cochran, and Cheryl Lero Jonson (Eds.). New York, NY: Routledge.
Phelps (2018). Mass Probation and Inequality: Race, Class, and Gender Disparities in Supervision and Revocation. Handbook on Punishment Decisions: Locations of Disparity, ASC Division on Corrections & Sentencing.