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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78169 Find in a Library
Title: Dynamics of Parole
Journal: Angolite  Dated:(May/June 1981)  Pages:27-60
Corporate Author: Louisiana State Penitentiary
United States of America
Editor(s): W Rideau; B Sinclair
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 34
Sponsoring Agency: Louisiana State Penitentiary
Angola, LA 70712
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This prison magazine presents a comprehensive view of Louisiana's parole system, one of the most successful in the United States, based on interviews with parole board members and corrections personnel as well as a review of studies on the role of parole in the correctional system.
Abstract: The composition of Louisiana's five-member parole board and its decisionmaking processes are described. The discussion of parole supervision provides statistics on the Probation and Parole Division's budget, manpower, and caseloads and details responsibilities of probation-parole agents. Also covered is the Interstate Probation and Parole Compact which allows States to supervise each others' parolees and probationers. The survival of parole despite years of public criticism is attributed to the support of prison wardens, judges, legislators, and district attorneys whose interests have been served by this system. In the last 5 years, however, a national movement to restrict or even eliminate parole powers has emerged. A history of Louisiana's parole system shows that, contrary to popular opinion, it is the least used form of release for convicted felons but has considerable potential for alleviating the State's correctional problems. Nationwide trends in parole are reviewed, including mandatory and other forms of release. Parole usage has increased over the years, and statistics demonstrate that it is one of the most effective features of the criminal justice system. Parole use and revocation rates are given for several States along with figures on paroles granted compared to total cases heard. The composition, responsibilities, and salaries of 27 State parole boards are compared. The serious overcrowding that characterizes Louisiana's correctional facilities has been caused in part by a decline in the State's use of parole. Many corrections officers support efforts to improve parole's public image and expand its use. Furthermore, the cost of maintaining prisoners on parole is a fraction of the expense of keeping them in prison. A final interview with the parole board's chairman explores sentencing practices, parole supervision, and release criteria for those serving life sentences. Photographs, charts, and tables are included.
Index Term(s): Louisiana; Parole; Parole board; Probation or parole decisionmaking; Probation or parole services; Services effectiveness
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