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NCJ Number: 77939 Find in a Library
Title: Holding Governments Strictly Liable for the Release of Dangerous Parolees
Journal: New York University Law Review  Volume:55  Issue:5  Dated:(November 1980)  Pages:907-940
Author(s): K Schoenholz
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 34
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This note addresses the extent to which parole boards and their officers should be held liable when a member of the community is injured by a violent parolee.
Abstract: Currently, two factors impede the victim's chances of gaining compensation from the parole institution for injury inflicted by a parolee. First, doctrines of immunity often operate to shield government and its officers from liability for their actions. Second, traditional negligence analysis usually places victims outside the class of foreseeable plaintiffs to whom the parole officer owes a duty. With the trend in the law toward greater recognition of victims' rights, the inadequacy of protection and inequity of treatment offered to plaintiffs are becoming less tolerable and require closer scrutiny by the courts. It is suggested that the problems presented by the current judicial treatment of victims of parolee violence will be resolved best by discarding immunity for government and holding the parole institutions strictly liable for injuries resulting from the decision to release, while retaining immunity for officers and requiring them to indemnify the government for its liability only when their actions fall below a specified standard of care. Not only would victims be treated more equitably under such a system of tort liability, but holding the government strictly liable would best reconcile the competing social policies on which the institution of parole is based. The article includes 190 footnotes. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Legal liability; Parole board; Parole violations; Parolees; Probation or parole officers; Prosecution; State government; Victim compensation; Violent offenders
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