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Parole: Controversial Component of the Criminal Justice System (From Observations on Parole, P 51-57, 1987, Edward E Rhine and Ronald W Jackson, eds. -- See NCJ-107459)

NCJ Number
B Krauth
Date Published
7 pages
During the past decade, the function of parole has come under scrutiny by State legislatures, officials, pressure groups, and the media.
As a result, numerous reforms have been enacted, including reconstructing the parole decisionmaking process, eliminating parole board authority to establish release dates, and involving crime victims in the parole process. Pressures against parole, including calls for its abolishment, arose from reduced support for rehabilitation, the structuring of discretionary decisions, and a growing emphasis on punishment and incapacitation. Since the mid-1970's, 11 States have abolished or restricted parole. Sentencing guidelines will replace the Federal Parole Commission by 1991. Despite calls for abolishment, 13 States have developed accelerated release programs, in many cases as a solution to prison overcrowding. In 17 States, guidelines have been developed for parole decisions. While it is widely believed that the public favors abolishment of parole, a 1984 survey suggests that the public favors reforms rather than abolition. Parole currently remains in a period of transition, and no single model has emerged for all jurisdictions.