Final Report on Parole Decision-Making Project

Overview

This report describes the tasks and research undertaken as part of Vera's Parole Decision-Making Project. Vera assisted staff of the New York State Division of Parole in developing decision-making guidelines for Parole Board use in making Minimum Period of Imprisonment (MPI) and parole release decisions. Vera 1) measured the Board member's perceptions of the relative seriousness of the criminal offenses considered by it and developed offense seriousness scales reflective of these perceptions; 2) conducted a simulated decision-making exercise and used the results to develop preliminary guidelines for MPI decisions; 3) conducted studies of the Board's past practices in setting MPIs and granting release on parole; 4) assisted Parole staff to define data elements that could be used for monitoring the Board's use of the guidelines and for creating management and research reports; and prepared an Inmate Manual in both English and Spanish explaining the policies and procedures of the Parole Board as they apply to the setting of MPIs, the parole release decision, and the inmate's access to materials in Parole files.