Paroling Authority Self-Assessment Toolkit

Introduction

Paroling authorities play a critical role within correctional systems across the nation.  They make thousands of decisions a year about the timing of release from prison for a significant number of offenders each year, set conditions of release and respond to violations of post-release supervision for many thousands more, and serve as important partners in contributing to public safety and the wise use of resources.

Carrying out these responsibilities effectively is both complex and critical to the effective functioning of the criminal justice system.  A series of papers and other resources recently made available by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC), address those complexities in detail and make the case that paroling authorities are well and uniquely positioned to assist the criminal justice system to target its resources toward risk management and recidivism reduction goals, and make significant impacts upon community safety.  The National Parole Resource Center, a joint initiative of the Center for Effective Public Policy and the Association of Paroling Authorities International that is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs' Bureau of Justice Assistance, offers another resource for paroling authorities, and has outlined ten "practice targets" that define ways of operating that can assist paroling authorities to carry out their responsibilities for risk reduction goals more effectively.

The following Toolkit offers a structured, self-assessment guide to assist paroling authorities to consider their current practices, and the degree to which they mirror the National Parole Resource Center's practice targets for risk reduction.   By completing this Toolkit, paroling authority members can gain preliminary insight into how their practices compare to these targets, and where they might want to focus further attention in strengthening their work in the future.

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Ten Practice Targets >