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Chapter 12 Preparing for Prisoner Reentry: Discretionary Parole and Mandatory Release.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 12 Preparing for Prisoner Reentry: Discretionary Parole and Mandatory Release."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 12 Preparing for Prisoner Reentry: Discretionary Parole and Mandatory Release

2 Introduction Prisoner reentry is any activity or program dedicated to preparing and integrating parolees into the community as law-abiding citizens using a collaborative approach with parole officers, treatment providers and the community More than 95% of incarcerated prisoners will eventually be released; 600,000 every year

3 Issues in Reentry Successful reentry includes: Prerelease planning Community referrals Quick access to benefit programs and continuity of care

4 Issues in Reentry, cont. Challenges for recently-released ex- offenders include: Being indigent, but still requiring medications Being given a list of referrals versus having the appointments made for them Finding suitable employment, housing and staying clean

5 The prisoner’s family suffers during the period of confinement with the stigma of having a loved one behind bars The prisoner’s family plays a vital role in reentry, yet only 25% of prisoners have someone to meet them at release Reentry requires family ties to be reestablished or mended. The Prisoner’s Family

6 The Victim’s Role in Reentry Most victims are an intimate or an acquaintance of the offender The offender has a responsibility to repair the harm done to the victim and the community Discretionary parole is viewed as safer for the victim than releasing prisoners to the community without supervision

7 Reentry and the Community Certain areas of cities receive a disproportionate number of parolees and have a high amount of unemployment, drugs and instability and disorganization Some believe that reentry should encompass restorative justice and civic community service in a model of civic engagement, and must include: Workforce development family/social policy health policy

8 Community-Based Reentry Initiatives In 2001, the Department of Justice allocated $100 million to support housing, job placement, mentoring services and faith-based initiative for offender reentry Reentry courts are a collaborative, team- based program that occurs after prison to improve the link between parole supervision and treatment providers

9 Types of Reentry The different types of reentry result from either determinate or indeterminate sentencing structures Determinate sentencing results in automatic or mandatory release Indeterminate sentencing results in discretionary release by a parole board

10 Parole boards have four basic functions: To decide when individual prisoners should be release To determine any special conditions of parole supervision To successfully discharge the parolee when conditions have been met To determine whether parole privileges should be revoked if the conditions are violated In addition, some parole boards are involved with executive clemency decisions

11 Eligibility for Parole The first step in the reentry process is the eligibility of the offender for parole consideration Some inmates are permanently ineligible for parole Parole eligibility is determined by a combination of calendar days served and good time days earned

12 The minimum eligibility date is the shortest amount of time defined by statute that must be served before being considered for parole by the parole board The maximum eligibility date is the longest amount of time that can be served before the inmate must be released

13 Good time (or “gain time”) is awarded for institutional good conduct and may be lost for misbehavior Parole eligibility dates vary from state to state and offense-type to offense-type

14 A prerelease facility is a minimum security program that houses inmates with good institutional conduct and who are within two years of release A prerelease plan includes a summary of institutional conduct and program participation, as well as plans for housing and employment upon release, and: Increases an offender’s chances of parole Saves time during the parole hearing Reflects ties in the community that will assist in reentry

15 The Parole Board Parole boards average 7 members, ranging from 3 to 19 in number Most release decisions are made by panels of three members Crimes of a violent or sexual nature may require a full board review In most states that retain parole boards, the governor appoints members for an average of five years, with varying qualifications

16 The Parole Hearing The options for parole decision makers are: Grant parole, resulting in conditional release Deny parole, resulting in continued imprisonment Defer to a later date, resulting in a delay of the grant or deny decision, typically by six months to a year The sentencing judge, prosecutor and defense attorney often provide recommendations

17 Due Process During Parole Hearings Menechino v. Oswald (1971) The Supreme Court ruled that parole was a privilege not a right Greenholtz v. Inmates of the Nebraska Penal and Correctional Complex (1979) Established minimal due process protections in the parole granting process The courts have determined that inmates do not have a protected liberty interest in parole

18 Most parole boards provide victims information about the parole process and 70% of states allow victims to attend the hearing A victim impact statement is often considered by the board Research reflects that victim participation is the strongest predictor in parole decision making

19 Models of Parole Release Decisions Statutes typically direct parole boards to base their decisions on: The probability of recidivism The welfare of society The conduct of the offender while incarcerated The sufficiency of the parole plan

20 The models guiding parole decision making are: The surveillance model “an attempt to control “the dangerous classes” The procedural justice model Advocates fairness and legal factors, i.e., guidelines The risk prediction model Utilizes offense severity and risk of recidivism, resulting in the salient factor score

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