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Parole Decisions in New Jersey:Effects of Positive and Negative Victim and Non-Victim Input

Joel M Caplan, Doina
June 4, 2015

Source: (-0001) Dissertation in Social Welfare

This study uses a retrospective analysis of existing administrative data to determine the extent to which input (for and against release) affected parole release decisions in New Jersey – where both victims and non-victims could submit input via written or videotaped correspondence,by telephone or in person. Data were collected from State Parole Board case files on a sample of 820 inmates whose parole release decisions were made during 2004.Effects of three aspects of input(source,type and orientation)on parole release decisions were tested.
Results suggest that input was not a significant predictor of parole release in New Jersey,when controlling for other release factors.Negative input, did however appear to decrease the odds of an inmates release to a greater extent than positive input which for all intensive purposes,neither helped nor hurt an inmate’s odds of parole release. with regard to negative input,results also suggest that (a)victims had a slightly greater detrimental affect on parole release than non-victims and (b) verbal input was more influential than written. Measures of institutional behavior, crime severity and criminal history were significantly associated with parole release.
This study suggests that the impact of victim input on parole release decisions is not intuitive and results may not be generalizable across different types of offenders or across different paroling jurisdictions.Policy reccomendations are grounded in theories.


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