Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2005, $103,525)
The researchers propose to use a quasi-experimental research design to assess the impact of a newly devised sanction grid on reducing technical parole revocations and new criminal offenses among parolees within Ohio's Adult Parole Authority. The proposal places this research question in the context of the broader concern in Ohio and nationwide with offender reentry into the community and the problems posed to institutional corrections (and the community) when those offenders are returned to prison.
Using a quasi-experimental before and after design, the study will be conducted on several levels, including an analysis of the impact of the guidelines on reducing technical returns and overall recidivism, reducing administrative burden, and increasing uniformity. It further seeks to investigate the changing relationship among risk, technical violations, and new criminal behavior across the pre and post-guidelines periods through several offender-level recidivism analyses. More specifically, the proposal seeks to answer these questions: Does the sanction guideline improve outcomes, increase progressive sanctions, and increase the use of risk as a factor in sanctions? Does the sanction guideline change the relationship between risk, technical violations, and new offenses? Does the sanction guideline change the overall effectiveness of the supervision of parolees?
Findings from the project are expected to have important implications for the overall validation of graduated response systems, while providing evidence of their potential role in changing the relationship between violations and future criminality.