Automated Parole Risk-Assessment Instruments

Tammy Meredith, Applied Research Services, Inc.
Sharon Johnson, Applied Research Services, Inc.

ABSTRACT
Authors present their results of recidivism research conducted with over 10,000 offenders who completed parole supervision in Georgia between 1999 and 2000. Existing comprehensive state-operated prison and parole operations databases were linked to develop assessment instruments for two key decision points for parole officers. These empirically-based instruments are unique -- in lieu of traditional "pencil and paper" assessments completed by parole officers they are computer-generated. Computer programs executed by the Parole Board's Research Unit will utilize existing data to compute a probability score (ranging from 0 to 1, translated into predicting a 0% to 100% likelihood of arrest while on parole) for each offender existing prison and beginning parole. The "estimated risk level" will be made available to parole officers through the existing automated case management system for the purpose of informing key decisions. The project will not replace the need for more extensive assessments required for correctional treatment planning, but it will go a long way in demonstrating the possibilities that exist for informing correction practice with sound research.

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Updated 05/20/2006