Paroling Authority Self-Assessment Toolkit

Practice Target 10:

Develop and strengthen agency level policy making, strategic management and performance measurement skills/capacities.

Parole Board members have at least two key roles. The first is that of individual decisionmaker—a role that garners much attention on the part of members, as they fulfill statutory requirements for case hearings, considerations, and decisions. The second role that they play, which traditionally has received less attention in practice and in the literature, is that of a member of a policy-making team. As a team, a parole board has a responsibility to define a clear vision, mission, and goals—within the context of their enabling legislation. As a team, they make thousands of decisions a year. It is imperative that Boards consider and adopt policies and tools that will enable it to assure that their individual decisions, when taken in the aggregate, will help them accomplish their overarching goals—goals of fair punishment, community safety, respect for the victim's concerns, and wise use of public resources. As such, good parole practice includes those actions—taken by the Board as a whole—which will serve to support and accomplish their vision, mission and goals. This also requires a thoughtful focus on its own practices, and the use of good empirical information about their practices as they go along. Paroling authorities will learn and improve when decisions are based on the collection, analysis and use of data and information26.

Using the assessment scale below, select a response to each question that (in your judgment) best reflects how fully your state and your board currently implement this aspect of the practice target under consideration. After clicking the “submit” button at the end of this section, you can view and print a summary of your responses that you can then use to guide a discussion with your fellow board members.


Does your board:

Routinely meet to review their vision, mission, and goals—and consider how these might need to be updated, and whether the Board is moving effectively toward accomplishment of these?
No Progress
Toward Implementation
Some Significant Progress
Toward Implementation
Full Implementation Unknown
1 2 3 4 5
As a whole board, routinely consider information that describes/assesses their practices and use that information to guide decisionmaking policies and tools, and make adjustments accordingly?
No Progress
Toward Implementation
Some Significant Progress
Toward Implementation
Full Implementation Unknown
1 2 3 4 5
Have a limited set of "indicators" or a "dashboard" that gives them quick feedback about aspects of their performance that they review on a routine basis?
No Progress
Toward Implementation
Some Significant Progress
Toward Implementation
Full Implementation Unknown
1 2 3 4 5
Work together to articulate its values and how those values play out in a set of decisionmaking guidelines?
No Progress
Toward Implementation
Some Significant
Progress Toward Implementation
Full Implementation Unknown
1 2 3 4 5
In your judgment, how would you characterize your board’s progress in this area, considering the expectations/characteristics outlined above, and the previous discussion?
In your judgment, how would you rate the IMPORTANCE of bringing this practice target to full implementation in order for you to accomplish your goals as a paroling authority? Why?

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