Board Members’ Reflections on the Parole Process in Pennsylvania
This report reflects the first product of a multi-year collaboration involving the Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, the Pennsylvania State Board of Probation and Parole, and the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing. This partnership stemmed from a two-day meeting in July 2016 among Institute representatives, board members and staff, and commission staff. Subsequent to these discussions, an agreement was reached among the parties to jointly conduct a research project focusing on the accuracy of the board’s Parole Decisional Instrument, also known as the “361,” in predicting recidivism, and the fit between this tool and the board’s release decision-making process.
The overall project was designed to address a broad set of issues targeting multiple dimensions associated with the decision to grant or deny parole. The findings summarized herein center on elucidating the views of board members relative to their decision-making capacity when considering offenders for release. It is important to note that the board also exercises jurisdiction when setting the conditions of supervision, and in determining whether to revoke and sanction a parolee for non-compliance.