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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99055 Find in a Library
Title: Reliability in Guideline Application - Initial Hearings, 1982
Journal: Federal Probation  Volume:49  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1985)  Pages:33-41
Author(s): J L Beck; P B Hoffman
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This research examined the extent to which the parole guideline determinations of the Federal Parole Commission could be independently replicated by research staff.
Abstract: A stratified random sample of initial parole hearings conducted during August and September 1982 was examined (20 cases from each of the five Parole Commission regions). The commission file for each case was obtained, and the section of the file containing the hearing panel summary and commission action was sealed to prevent the researcher scoring the case from seeing the hearing panel's scoring. Each case was then scored independently by two researchers. Severity rating, salient factor score items, salient factor score category, guideline type, and guideline range were recorded. Differences between the researchers were resolved and the research panel's judgement recorded. Substantive agreement on the guideline range between hearing examiner and research panels was found in 86 percent of the cases. In the remaining 14 percent of the cases there was disagreement on the guideline range due to guideline ambiguity, inadequate file information, or hearing panel error. The commission is taking several steps to enhance reliability in guideline application. The appendixes display the guidelines matrix currently used by the commission, the salient factor score, and an excerpt from the offense severity scale. Tabular data and eight references are provided.
Index Term(s): Federal parole guidelines; Parole board discretion; Probation or parole decisionmaking
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