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Parole release decisions: Impact of victim input on a representative sample of inmates


  • Caplan, Joel M.


Positive and negative input, in both verbal and written forms, was studied for a representative sample of 820 parole-eligible adult inmates in New Jersey to determine the extent to which victim participation and the provisions of victim input policies affect contemporary parole release practices. Victim input was not found to be a significant predictor of parole release. Measures of institutional behavior, crime severity, and criminal history were significant. Verbal input had a greater affect than written input. In the short-term, parole administrators should develop guidelines to clarify procedures and create a more uniform and transparent application of victim input. In the long-term, the receipt of victim input should be used to identify victims who have not yet found closure so that appropriate support services can be provided prior to most inmates' eventual releases from prison.

Suggested Citation

  • Caplan, Joel M., 2010. "Parole release decisions: Impact of victim input on a representative sample of inmates," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 291-300, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcjust:v:38:y::i:3:p:291-300

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lawson, Catherine L. & Katz, JoAnne, 2004. "Restorative justice: an alternative approach to juvenile crime," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 175-188, April.
    2. Malsch, Marijke & Carriere, Raphaela, 1999. "Victims' wishes for compensation: The immaterial aspect," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 239-247, May.
    3. Winfree, L. Thomas & Sellers, Christine S. & Ballard, Veronica Smith & Roberg, Roy R., 1990. "Responding to a legislated change in correctional practices: A quasi-experimental study of revocation hearings and parole board actions," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 195-215.
    4. Joo Shin, H., 1973. "Do lesser pleas pay?: Accommodations in the sentencing and parole processes," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 27-42, March.
    5. Davis, Robert C. & Smith, Barbara E., 1994. "Victim impact statements and victim satisfaction: An unfulfilled promise?," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 1-12.
    6. Erez, Edna & Roeger, Leigh, 1995. "The effect of victim impact statements on sentencing patterns and outcomes: The Australian experience," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 363-375.
    7. Turpin-Petrosino, Carolyn, 1999. "Are limiting enactments effective? an experimental test of decision making in a presumptive parole state," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 321-332, July.
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