Paroling Authority Self-Assessment Toolkit

Practice Target 7:

Fashion condition setting policy to minimize requirements on low risk offenders, and target conditions to criminogenic needs of medium and high risk offenders.

The risk of recidivism is greatly reduced when attention is paid to criminogenic needs (dynamic risk factors) such as antisocial attitudes, beliefs and values, antisocial peers, and certain personality and temperamental factors. There is a clear association between the number of criminogenic needs targeted and reduced recidivism; the higher the number of needs targeted, the lower the rate of recidivism16. Additionally, research demonstrates that the likelihood of reoffense can be diminished if the level of intervention (defined as both monitoring and treatment) is matched to the assessed level of risk17. In other words, a reduction in recidivism among the high risk offender population is best achieved by delivering high intensity interventions (i.e., 200-300 hours of programming over 6-12 months), while reductions in recidivism among the moderate risk population is best achieved through the delivery of moderately intensive interventions (i.e., 100 hours over a modest length of time, e.g., 3-6 months)18. Recidivism rates can be reduced on average of 30% when interventions are targeted to those offenders who are assessed as medium or high risk to reoffend19. The best outcomes with the low risk population are achieved by low levels of intervention.

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:

Have condition-setting policies and/or practices in place that typically impose a more limited set of basic conditions on offenders assessed as low risk—and include only minimal special conditions, it any at all?
No Progress
Toward Implementation
Some Significant Progress
Toward Implementation
Full Implementation Unknown
1 2 3 4 5
Set expectations, and work with correctional partners, to put in place practices that will routinely produce case management/reentry plans that address the top three (or more) criminogenic needs for medium and high risk?
No Progress
Toward Implementation
Some Significant Progress
Toward Implementation
Full Implementation Unknown
1 2 3 4 5
Set conditions to allow for the completion of some programming in the community—when realistically available—particularly for medium risk offenders, rather than requiring all programming to be completed prior to release?
No Progress
Toward Implementation
Some Significant Progress
Toward Implementation
Full Implementation Unknown
1 2 3 4 5

Engage in collaborative discussions with stakeholders who are responsible for providing services to inmates and parolees (e.g., corrections, parole supervision, service providers) to:

Develop an agreement to prioritize and target treatment services to moderate and high risk offenders?
No Progress
Toward Implementation
Some Significant
Progress Toward Implementation
Full Implementation Unknown
1 2 3 4 5
Develop deliberate strategies to avoid setting treatment conditions on low risk offenders?
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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