Some students in the REC have used their direct client representation experience as a jumping-off point for additional policy research regarding Maryland's parole process. The papers below are the start of an archive that REC students have submitted to assist advocates engaged in parole reform efforts in Maryland.
Assessment of Maryland Parole Commission Risk Assessments
Risk assessments are instruments used for various purposes within the criminal justice system, including the determination of suitability for parole. A risk assessment is often, although not always, based on a static actuarial view of a person’s likelihood for recidivism if released on parole. Such a view does not accurately depict who a person has become while incarcerated, the likelihood, the person will commit future crimes, or if the person meets the criteria for parole consideration.
Assessment of the Maryland Parole Commission: Modest Proposals for Much Needed Change
Deciding whether an individual is ready for parole is not a task that should be taken lightly. Nearly one million people are released or supervised under conditions established by state paroling authorities each year, and the appointed members of those paroling authorities determine if and when parole candidates are released from prison, how they are supervised after release, and the punishment (including re-incarceration) they may face for violating the conditions of their supervision. . . . How each state’s parole board carries out its responsibilities matters greatly to those sentenced, their families, their victims, the operation of prisons, the community that the parolees return to, and our commitment to justice. Therefore, it is imperative that each state’s parole board exercise these vast powers and great responsibility in a fair, transparent manner.