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National Surveys of State Paroling Authorities: Models of Service Delivery

NCJ Number
Federal Probation Volume: 74 Issue: 1 Dated: June 2010 Pages: 34-42
Joel M. Caplan; Susan C. Kinnevy
Date Published
June 2010
9 pages
This paper examines the different types of State parole models currently operating in the United States.
This paper presents a national snapshot of parole in the United States that was constructed from national survey data of State paroling authorities. Models depict the most common characteristics among all State parole jurisdictions. Findings suggest that 21st century paroling authorities are complex systems that cannot be labeled according to only one of their attributes, as is commonly done. More accurate labels should take into account common structural and operation characteristics of paroling authorities. Results suggest that State paroling authorities are more complex than previously documented. For instance, the structural model indicates that categorizing parole into "determinate" and "indeterminate" is not valid because most States operate under a mixed sentencing structure. Within this structure, references to discretionary and mandatory release are more complex as well, in that parole boards also have the power to terminate maximum sentence, but no authority to set the minimum time incarcerated. The paroling authority models constructed for this study highlight the variability among the States' approaches to release. Tables, figures, and references