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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78833 Find in a Library
Title: Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole - A Special Report on Parole Practices and Reforms and Recommended Policy Considerations
Author(s): A Benedict
Corporate Author: Pennsylvania Auditor General
United States of America
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 38
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Pennsylvania Auditor General
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Parole and sentencing practices in various States and advised in various studies are reviewed to aid the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, the Pennsylvania Legislature, and the Governor's Office when considering future legislation or changes in the sentencing structure and parole system.
Abstract: Proposed and actual changes are discussed in guidelines for judicial discretion in sentencing; alternative approaches for specific mandated punishments for particular offenses and types of offenders; and the functions, powers, and duties of the parole board. After a brief sketch of the history of parole in America, alternative approaches to parole reform are identified. Parole reform legislation is examined for Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Oregon. The current powers, duties, and responsibilities of the Pennsylvania parole board are then reviewed. Alternatives for sentencing guidelines are also considered. It is recommended that the Pennsylvania legislature consider the following issues before enacting major parole reform legislation: (1) a period of supervision for persons who have served their maximum prison sentence (presumably persons deemed unsuitable for parole), (2) the power of the parole board to limit or refuse county probation and parole supervision cases assigned by county judges, and (3) a unanimous vote instead of a majority vote of the parole board to grant parole. Other issues to be considered are the use of 'good-time' credits to apply to early release should parole be abolished, the policy toward offenders currently in prison and on parole should parole be abolished, and the impact on recidivism of serving mandatory sentences without supervision after release. Considerations in assessing sentencing reform legislation are also listed. Parole data for Pennsylvania are appended. Footnotes and 14 bibliographical listings are provided.
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Correctional reform; Legislation; Parole; Pennsylvania; Sentencing reform
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