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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 185239 Find in a Library
Title: Recommendations for Conditional Release Suitability: Cognitive Biases and Consistency in Case Management Officers' Decision-making
Journal: Canadian Journal of Criminology  Volume:42  Issue:4  Dated:October 2000  Pages:421-447
Author(s): Joti Samra-Grewal; Jeffrey E. Pfeifer; James R. P. Ogloff
Date Published: October 2000
Page Count: 27
Sponsoring Agency: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Ottawa, ON K1P 6G4, Canada
Document: HTML
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English; French
Country: Canada
Annotation: This study examined the decision making processes underlying recommendations to the National Parole Board in Canada, with emphasis on consistency and biases in recommendations between decisions made under the unstructured criteria in the current Correctional Service of Canada decision making guidelines and those made under more structured guidelines.
Abstract: The participants were 68 case management officers recruited from medium-security Federal institutions for males in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, and a matched sample of 67 community members obtained through nonprofit community organizations in Regina, Saskatchewan. The research tested the hypothesis that the use of structured criteria would eliminate the negative effects of a potentially biasing variable (race) and would increase consistency in decision making. Results indicated that consistency in decision making would have increased if participants who used the structured criteria had relied exclusively on the tabled risk score. Results also indicated that native offenders were not less likely than white offenders to be recommended for parole. Furthermore, case management officers were not more consistent in their recommendations than were the community sample. Findings suggested that consistency in decision making by case management officers is not as high as would be desirable and that consistency between trained and experienced correctional personnel is no higher than that among laypersons. Further research should focus on conditional release recommendations and should guide change and its practical implementation. Tables, notes, and 58 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Corrections in foreign countries
Index Term(s): Canada; Foreign parole; Parole board; Parole board discretion; Probation or parole decisionmaking
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