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The Future of Parole Release
Crime and Justice  (IF4.474),  Pub Date : 2017-01-01, DOI: 10.1086/688616
Edward E. Rhine, Joan Petersilia, Kevin R. Reitz

American parole boards have played a critical role in the formulation and administration of states’ prison policies in recent decades—and could play an equally important part in helping end mass incarceration. Long neglected by academic, research, and policy communities, systems of discretionary prison release are in need of improvement, if not “reinvention.” A plan for revitalization of parole release should lay out a comprehensive and aspirational model for the future. It must address the institutional structure of parole boards, how much release discretion they are given, the substantive grounds for release decisions, the use of risk assessments in the decisional process, decision-making tools such as parole release guidelines, the requirements of fair and reliable procedures, victims’ rights at parole hearings, the need for parole supervision in some but not all cases, the intensity of parole conditions, and the length of parole supervision.