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Information about Parole

Published on September 25, 2008

Author: aSGuest169


Parole:A Philosophical and Practical Framework : 1 Parole:A Philosophical and Practical Framework Peggy Burke Conference on Back-End Sentencing November 4, 2006 Stanford University Center on Criminal Justice Key Points : 2 Key Points Major change is afoot Fewer revocations are possible—so are reductions in criminal recidivism, if we’re smart! Practical innovations exist Parole Violations : 3 Parole Violations A large proportion of admissions to prison are as a result of technical violations of parole. Inconsistent practice—depends on your PO or on which Board Member you see. Some are less serious, some offenders less risky…maybe there is another way to approach this. Lesson from the NIC effort… : 4 Lesson from the NIC effort… It’s not violations that are driving admissions to prison It’s how the system deal with those violations. Violations are the NORM…71-84% Revocation rate is about… : 5 Revocation rate is about… Mission and goals Clear policy Training Resources Innovations…. : 6 Innovations…. Create consistent way to rate severity, risk of offender and violation Describe a “continuum of sanctions” for technical violations—prison only for the most serious and risky—and policy about use Innovations included…. : 7 Innovations included…. Develop responses to violations that are aimed at changing behavior Utilize “problem-solving” responses in lieu of or in addition to sanctions Use incentives and positive reinforcement for positive performance on parole!!! Articulate clear policy about all this and train your staff These innovations have been successful and are worthwhile : 8 These innovations have been successful and are worthwhile Reduced revocations and returns to prison Increased consistency Enabled agencies to identify and revoke high-risk offenders more quickly Reduced delay between violation and response Slide 9: 9 Figure 1: Trends in Release from Federal and State Prisons and Returns for Violating Parole or Other Conditions It is fair to say…during the 1980’s and 1990’s… : 10 It is fair to say…during the 1980’s and 1990’s… Parole evolved—along with the rest of the American criminal justice system—into an entity that focused primarily on exacting punishment and incapacitating offenders. Historical Context and Change : 11 Historical Context and Change 1976 “Rehabilitation. During the last century and a half, this concept has dominated penal philosophy and rhetoric.” “And so we, as a group, trained in humanistic traditions, have ironically embraced the seemingly harsh principle of just deserts.” Andrew von Hirsch, Doing Justice Slide 12: 12 Went from rehabilitation to Meet contact standards, watch higher risk offenders more closely, when they violate, bring them back….Manage Risk! Slide 13: 13 Intensive supervision—electronic monitoring, drug testing, GPS, community notification “enforcement” orientation Zero tolerance Selective incapacitation Mandatory minimums Do the crime, do the time Three strikes Two strikes Parole officers carrying weapons “treaters in hiding” Slide 14: 14 Within the paradigm of Just desert—punishment Incapacitation You can only go so far as a single stakeholder in reducing revocations! New Forces of Change : 15 New Forces of Change The numbers of returning offenders has skyrocketed—making their presence and failure more apparent and concerning to the public. Public questioning of correctional policy that has been unsuccessful at equipping offenders to reenter the community and NOT REOFFEND. Implications : 16 Implications The public, scholars, and practitioners are beginning to take note that punishment, incapacitation, and risk management do not adequately address community safety once a sentence is complete We are being pushed to redefine the outcomes we are seeking from criminal sentences It seems critical to review the “back-end sentencing” phenomenon in this new context At the same time… : 17 At the same time… A growing body of research is building evidence that punishment by itself cannot reduce recidivism—its architects never expected it to—maybe the public did A growing body of research is also building evidence that some things do work for some offenders Research-based assessment tools can differentiate groups of offenders with very different expected rates of recidivism To Enhance Success: Redefine Success as the Desired Outcome : 18 To Enhance Success: Redefine Success as the Desired Outcome We MUST Redefine our sentencing paradigm…to include: Accountability/desert Recidivism reduction What do we know about fostering success? : 19 What do we know about fostering success? Treatment can enhance the liklihood of success Motivation can enhance success Heavy involvement with low risk offenders can increase the liklhood of failure SO……. : 20 SO……. Graduated sanctions for technical violations are fine to hold offenders accountable—and shape agency practice. Once that is accomplished--if we want to change behavior—reduce recidivism, we should define recidivism reduction as a clear goal, and can look to “effective correctional interventions”….not just sanctions/punishment. Promising Innovations Can Help: : 21 Promising Innovations Can Help: Set conditions more sensibly and for success—don’t set offenders up to fail Create incentives for successful reentry Use sensible intermediate sanctions, problem-solving responses, linkages to effective treatment Prisons and parole have to work together! Take-Away Points : 22 Take-Away Points Responding to violations does not have to mean revocation—there are good examples of how Until we define recidivism reduction into a new sentencing paradigm, we will only achieve marginal improvements Corrections policy must become more evidence-based Parole can’t do this alone—institutional corrections, the sentencing court, community stakeholders have rolls Rethinking “back end sentencing” alone can be limiting.Our sentencing paradigm must evolve, and a range of stakeholders must collaborate on major changes in practice—at sentencing, within institutions, at release, reentry and during post-release supervision. : 23 Rethinking “back end sentencing” alone can be limiting.Our sentencing paradigm must evolve, and a range of stakeholders must collaborate on major changes in practice—at sentencing, within institutions, at release, reentry and during post-release supervision.

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