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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99065 Find in a Library
Title: Decision to Parole - Balancing the Rehabilitation of the Offender With the Protection of the Public
Journal: Journal of Criminology  Volume:27  Issue:3  Dated:(July 1985)  Pages:327-339
Author(s): I Shewan
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 13
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This study traces the background of Canada's rehabilitative parole and mandatory supervision, reports on a statistical analysis of Canadian Federal parole results, and draws implications of the study findings for current parole policy.
Abstract: The paper's first section documents how parole was introduced in Canada to serve a rehabilitative function, followed by the establishment of a program of mandatory supervision to complement rehabilitative functions. The second section reports on a Type I/II error study that statistically analyzed the first 5 years (1971-75) that parole and mandatory supervision operated concurrently. Study results are assessed as of June 1, 1980. The Type I/II error categorization results from a statistical application of a primary theorem of elementary decision theory which holds that for any decision, there are two possible error types. In relation to parole decisions, these error types are defined as (1) paroling an inmate who subsequently has his parole revoked and (2) not paroling an inmate who subsequently completes mandatory supervision without revocation. The study establishes that Federal parole release results and mandatory supervision release results can be used in concert to produce valid statistical measurements of Type I and Type II errors respectively. The Type I/II error distinction is used to demonstrate that the concurrent operation of parole and mandatory supervision has produced a parole system that emphasizes public protection over offender rehabilitation. The final section of the paper explains why it is important for the parole board to reflect on the reasons why parole was instituted. The paper argues that the reasons for operating parole as a rehabilitative system are still relevant. Tabular data from the statistical study are supplied along with a list of 30 references.
Index Term(s): Canada; Parole; Parole outcome prediction; Probation or parole decisionmaking
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