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Parole Release Decisions: Impact of Positive and Negative Victim and Nonvictim Input on a Representative Sample of Parole-Eligible Inmates

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This study analyzed administrative data from the New Jersey State Parole Board to determine the extent to which victim and nonvictim input impacted parole release decisions. Positive and negative input, in both verbal and written forms, was studied for a representative sample of 820 parole-eligible adult inmates. Victim input was not found to be a significant predictor of parole release; measures of institutional behavior, crime severity, and criminal history were significant. Though insignificant, verbal input had a greater effect than written input. Results suggest that the impact of victim input is not generalizable across different types of offenders or across different paroling jurisdictions. It can no longer be assumed that victim rights laws and public participation at parole guarantee victim-desired outcomes.
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Keywords: DECISION-MAKING; NONVIOLENT; OFFENDER; PARTICIPATION; PUBLIC; STATEMENTS; VIOLENT

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2010

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