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NCJ Number: 158337 Find in a Library
Title: Paroling With New Criteria -- Evaluating the Impact and Effects of Changes in the Parole System, Phase Two
Author(s): R Hood; S Shute
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 63
Sponsoring Agency: University of Oxford
Oxford, 0X2 6LH, England
Publication Number: ISBN 0-947811-07-9
Sale Source: University of Oxford
Centre for Criminological Research
12 Bevington Road
Oxford, 0X2 6LH,
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: A longitudinal study was conducted to monitor and evaluate parole system changes made by England's Criminal Justice Act of 1991 and by subsequent administrative actions; the new parole scheme is known ass officially as Discretionary Conditional Release (DCR), although the term parole is still in regular use.
Abstract: Main features of DCR include the following: discretionary release applies only to long-term prisoners serving determinate sentences of 4 years or more; eligibility for discretionary release is half the sentence instead of a third; new criteria must be met before a prisoner can be released on parole; statutory supervision is necessary for all prisoners until they have served 75 percent of their sentence, whether granted parole or not; and prisoners are at risk of having to serve the unexpired portion of their sentence if they are convicted of a further offense committed before the end of their sentence. The new parole scheme was evaluated in 1993 and 1994 based on the observation of 24 panels at which 545 prisoners serving sentences of 4 years or more, who had been sentenced under the old system, were considered for parole. The new DCR criteria were applied to the old system. It was found that reducing the size of panels radically altered the parole board. Serious delays in parolee processing no longer appeared to be a major problem, but replacement of former criteria for release refusal inevitably shifted the focus of decisionmaking from either positive or negative assumptions to the presumption that parole would not be granted unless all criteria were met. The pattern of parole decisions changed, with some decisions more liberal and some decisions more restrictive. Prisoners reviewed before they would be eligible under DCR were more likely to be released under new criteria, and prisoners not released early in their sentence were less likely to be released at subsequent reviews. Prisoner representatives were not very influential in release decisions. Finally, dealing with high-risk prisoners under new criteria raised the question of how accurate the parole board was in predicting the likelihood such prisoners would commit serious offenses, while on parole and during the period before sentence expiration. 113 footnotes and 8 tables
Main Term(s): Corrections in foreign countries
Index Term(s): Correctional reform; England; Foreign correctional systems; Foreign criminal justice systems; Foreign laws; Foreign parole; Foreign probation or parole services; Longitudinal studies; Parole board; Parole effectiveness; Parole violations; Probation or parole decisionmaking; Sentencing reform; World criminology
Note: Occasional Paper No. 16
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