Denial of Parole: An Inmate Perspective

Mark Pogrebin, University of Colorado - Denver

Parole board members typically review an extensive array of information sources in arriving at their decisions, and empirical research has shown a wide variation in the decision-making process. The bulk of research on parole decision-making focuses almost exclusively on the discretion exercised by parole board members and the factors that affect their decisions to grant or deny parole. The present study seeks to advance the work on parole decision-making by considering the imate's perspective; specifically, the point of view of those inmates who have had their release on parole denied. Based on a content analysis of 128 letters of appeal written by inmates to the Colorado parole board, we explore the nature of the problems inmates experienced before a paroling authority they perceive as arbitrary, capricious, and punitive.

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Updated 05/20/2006