Parole Essentials: Practical Guides for Parole Leaders
New parole board members and parole executives should read this publication. It will introduce them to the core competencies they need to have to effectively execute their public responsibilities. Chapters cover: the broad context of parole work—parole’s function, purpose, and role in the criminal justice system, parole and other state or local entities, and legal and ethical issues; discharging duties effectively—leadership, strategic planning, emerging best practices and evidence-based practices, and collaboration; and individual case decisionmaking—tools that promote consistent outcomes for similar cases, parole hearings, interviews and file reviews, parole conditions that support the goals of the parole board or agency and evidence-based principles and practices, and violation decisionmaking.
New parole board members and parole executives should read this publication. It “examines information emerging from research on evidence-based practice and decisionmaking in parole and the implications of these findings for paroling authorities” (p. viii). Five chapters comprise this document: evidence-based policy, practice, and decisionmaking—what it is and why paroling authorities should be interested in it; significant research findings regarding risk reduction—implications for paroling authorities; reaching the full recidivism reduction potential—using a systemwide approach to evidence-based decisionmaking; evaluating the research—how much evidence in enough; and the benefits of an evidence-based approach and recommendations for action—why pursue an evidence-based approach.
Individuals involved in making sure their parole agency’s goals are being met need to read this paper. It provides guidance for a paroling authority in “defining its vision and mission, assembling information and resources to accomplish its goals, and putting into place appropriate management and performance measurement systems to carry out its objectives and measure its progress” (p. v). Six chapters are contained in this publication: craft your vision and mission statements; assess your organization’s current operating practices; engage key partners; plan and take strategic action; review information and manage for results; and conclusion.
This guide is designed to “lay out the context, summarize the key issues, highlight the recent research, and provide suggestions about where to find more extensive and detailed resources” about special populations parole boards may have contact with (p. xiii). Seven chapters are contained in this publication: sex offenders; offenders who have significant mental health concerns; offenders who have significant substance abuse problems; women offenders; aging or geriatric offenders; youthful/juvenile offenders in the adult correctional system; and the challenges of housing for offenders released from prison.
“This paper provides suggestions and examples about how these key decisionmaking functions of parole [which offenders participate in which programs, when, and for how long] can be shaped to target resources effectively according to the principles of risk, need, and responsivity” (p. viii). Sections of this publication include: introduction; historical context; the cusp of change; parole at the crossroads; resources to support parole’s new role; targets of excellence in paroling authority decisionmaking; specific steps paroling authorities can take to enhance their ability to provide “targeting”; policy-driven parole decisionmaking—individual and team excellence; and conclusion.