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"Examining the Effects of Back-End Release Discretion on Prison Populations and Length of Stay: A State-by-State Analysis"

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $335,595)

The Robina Institute, alongside sub recipients Gerry Gaes (Florida State University) and Bill Rhodes (formerly of Abt Associates), proposes a research project examining the impact of back-end prison release discretion on time served and prison population size. By analyzing admissions, time served, and prison stocks using the National Corrections Reporting Program, the project aims to understand the drivers of prison population growth over the 1980-2010 period and more recent period of decline (2010-2020). The research focuses on the relationship between back-end release discretion and time served, with a specific examination of features of prison release systems, such as parole release and good time accrual. It utilizes research by Reitz et al. (2022) which examined the statutory and administrative frameworks that govern prison release (and thus time served) in each state, D.C., and the federal system. The expected outcomes include research that informs the conversation about effective prison release frameworks and evidence-based policy recommendations to control prison population size. Research results and recommendation will be disseminated through the final report, two policy briefs aimed at a non-academic audience, a peer reviewed journal article, and two conference presentations. The project's service area is nationwide, benefiting policymakers, criminal justice practitioners, advocacy groups, and individuals in the criminal justice system. Through this research, the Robina Institute aims to contribute to the national discourse on mass incarceration, promote informed decision-making, and foster meaningful reforms for a fair and effective justice system. CA/NCF

Date Created: September 26, 2023