The Future of Parole Release: A Ten-Point Reform Plan
Michael Tonry ed., Crime and Justice: A Review of Research, 2016, Forthcoming
69 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2015 Last revised: 23 Jan 2016
Date Written: September 16, 2015
This article lays out a 10-point program for the improvement of discretionary parole release systems in America. Taken together, our recommendations coalesce into an ambitious model that has never before existed in the US. Even if adopted separately, our recommendations would work substantial incremental improvements in the current practices of all paroling systems.
The article is written by three authors who have taken sharply different views on the fundamental question of whether contemporary determinate or indeterminate sentencing systems have been the more successful systems across American states. Likewise, the authors have given different advice to jurisdictions on whether parole release should be retained, abolished, or reinstituted (Rhine 2012; Petersilia 2003; Reitz 2004). Nonetheless, the authors agree that discretionary parole-release is an important feature of U.S. sentencing and corrections that will not disappear in the foreseeable future — and all three share a common interest in improving those systems as much as possible. Indeed, regardless of one’s views on the “determinacy/indeterminacy” debate, it would be irresponsible not to give assistance to the majority of states that continue to vest meaningful authority over prison sentence length in paroling agencies.
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