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Parole Survival and Legislated Change: A Before/After Study of Parole Revocation Decision Making

NCJ Number
Justice Quarterly Volume: 7 Issue: 1 Dated: (March 1990) Pages: 151-173
L T Winfree Jr; J Wooldredge; C S Sellers; V S Ballard
Date Published
23 pages
A 1985 change in the Texas "good time" law provided a unique opportunity to study the effects of legislated change on a correctional process.
In the face of prison overcrowding, the law gave permission to the Director of the Texas Department of Corrections (TDC) to release "returned inmates" in as little as three months, provided that the revocation did not involve a new conviction. The law was meant to provide a means of controlling the Texas prison population, but the bill's sponsors also believed that the change might have a profound impact on the processing of parole revocation hearings as accused parole violators exercised their new-found right to return to the custody of TDC and possibly to a reparole in three months. The intent of this study is to examine the legal and extralegal aspects of all waivers initiated in the year before and the year after the law change as well as a random sample of revocation hearings conducted in the same period. The research has been directed toward the following key question: Was there any change in the parole revocation decision-making process, including the impact of various legal and extralegal factors, as a result of the change in the Texas good time law? 2 tables, 75 references, and list of legal cases and codes. (Author abstract modified)