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NCJ Number: 152191 Find in a Library
Title: Victim Impact Testimony and Pennsylvania's Parole Decision Making Process: A Pilot Study
Journal: Criminal Justice Policy Review  Volume:6  Issue:3  Dated:(September 1992)  Pages:187-206
Author(s): W H Parsonage; F P Bernat; J Helfgott
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 20
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: During fall 1991, the authors examined a random sample of 1989 parole cases decided by the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole in which victim testimony was proferred (experimental group) and a random sample of cases in which such testimony was not presented (comparison group); decisional outcomes were compared to determine the impact of victim testimony on the parole decisionmaking process in Pennsylvania.
Abstract: Data were collected from case files of Pennsylvania's parole board actions in 1989 in which offenders appeared before the board for their first review. Information was extracted from the files on various offense, offender, and parole eligibility variables. Descriptive and discriminant analysis techniques were employed to assess the nature and extent of victim impact testimony in the Pennsylvania parole process. Findings revealed that victim testimony had a significant effect on parole release decisions in 1989. This impact existed despite controlling for the influences of victim characteristics, offender characteristics, and parole predictions based on the parole board's guideline scores. Even though the comparison group had a greater number of inmates classified as poor parole risks, actual parole refusal rates were similar to predicted refusal rates. Parole refusal rates for the experimental group greatly exceeded predicted refusal rates. 30 references, 27 notes, and 8 tables
Main Term(s): Victim impact statements
Index Term(s): Corrections; Pennsylvania; Probation or parole decisionmaking
Note: Version of paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, 1992, New Orleans
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