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Role of Parole

Articles and resources on the ways parole can contribute to a restorative response to crime.

Circles of Support and Accountability, sex offender program, has federal funding cut
from the article on Huffington Post Canada: A government-funded program that reports have shown drastically reduces sex offenders' rates of reoffending will have a huge portion of its funding cut at the end of this month.
Circles of Support and Accountability, sex offender program, has federal funding cut
from the article on Huffington Post Canada: A government-funded program that reports have shown drastically reduces sex offenders' rates of reoffending will have a huge portion of its funding cut at the end of this month.
An Outcome Evaluation of Minnesota Circles of Support and Accountability (MnCoSA)
from the study by the Minnesota Department of Corrections: ....The use of the COSA model with high-risk sex offenders began in a small Mennonite community in Canada in the early 1990s. Grounded in the tenets of the restorative justice philosophy, the COSA model attempts to help sex offenders successfully reenter the community and, thus, increase public safety, by providing them with social support as they try to meet their employment, housing, treatment, and other social needs. Each COSA consists of anywhere between four and six community volunteers, one of whom is a primary volunteer, who meet with the offender on a regular basis. The results from several evaluations of the Canadian COSA model suggest it significantly reduces sex offender recidivism....
Parole, release and restorative justice: Minister and National Council for Correctional Services
from the Summary of the Parliamentary Monitoring Group meeting: The meeting provided an opportunity for the Portfolio Committee (PC) to engage with the Minister and the National Council for Correctional Services (NCCS) on matters of parole and release, with particular emphasis on the position of those sentenced to life imprisonment (lifers) and the role of the restorative justice processes.
Restoring lives: Now that’s Justice
from Patrice Gaines' article in Yes!: It was the summer of 2009. I was on my second day of work for the U.S. Census Bureau, knocking on doors in rural South Carolina. My cell phone rang. It was my supervisor. “Patrice, headquarters called me and told me to send you home immediately and to take back all government property,” she said. “I don’t know why.”She knew me as a 61-year-old gray-haired mother, a former Washington Post reporter, an author and motivational speaker. She knew nothing about me 40 years ago, when I was a 21-year-old heroin user. I knew exactly why they were sending me home: I am a convicted felon.
Huikahi Restorative Circles: A public health approach for reentry planning
from the article by Lorenn Walker and Rebecca Greening in Federal Probation: ....The Huikahi Restorative Circle is a group process for reentry planning that involves the incarcerated individual, his or her family and friends, and at least one prison representative. The process was developed in 2005 in collaboration with two community-based organizations—the Hawai’i Friends of Civic &Law Related Education and the Community Alliance on Prisons—and the Waiawa Correctional Facility located on the island of O’ahu.
treatment programs for offenders
James, thank you for your comments. Appreciate the link here regarding the research. We need to review, and fund, more evidence-based research. The link here [...]
It is good to see some light being shed onto the tragic circumstances that surround this horrific story. The complex issues often get reduced to [...]
crime as a political football
Avo, thank you for your comment. Apparently this problem is worldwide given you are writing from Estonia. It's a pathetic fact that many politicians build [...]
another crime victim supports restorative justice
Thank you, Michelle. I've learned much from victim-survivors like you. Readers should take a look at Michelle's astounding story. A summary of her story: "Her [...]
Penitentiar politics
 Lisa wrote: I recently had one California lobbyist tell me "we don't have enough money for restorative justice now". Yes, I heard same sentence often. [...]
thank you
Thank you, LIsa, for the article and for keeping survivors in focus when in so many way those in authority lose sight of innocent people [...]
California officials fear Jaycee Lee Dugard case may hurt efforts on parole
Grenfell, Dale Mary. Restorative Justice at Work: Juvenile Parole Board
In this article, Dale Mary Grenfell profiles the work of the Colorado State Juvenile Parole Board. The parole board itself does not have a restorative justice policy. Nevertheless, according to Herb Covey, vice chair of the parole board, the board does what it can to operate in a manner consistent with restorative justice. For example, the parole board tries to ensure that victims’ rights are represented, and that offenders entering parole status outside of prison understand and acknowledge the impact of their actions on those who have been harmed. One way this is done through this parole board, as described by Grenfell in this report, is to have victims attend parole hearings.
. Circles of Support and Accountability: How and why they work for sex offenders.
Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA) provide re-integrating sex offenders with a group of trained volunteers who support this rehabilitation process. Effect studies show promising results in reduction of recidivism. This study provides a theoretical underpinning and empirical validation of the COSA intervention model, based on a grounded theory analysis of 38 circle narratives, reflecting the experiences of 21 circles. Four circle functions appear to be essential, with inclusion being most important. Inclusion is serving basic human needs and is motivating the sex offender to allow monitoring and being held accountable. Program integrity and a positive group development are essential preconditions for circle effectiveness. (author's abstract)
Pranis, Kay. Promising practices in community justice: restorative justice
This article begins with a brief overview of what the concept and goals of restorative justice entail. It continues with a summary of the types of programs that have evolved and their connection with aspects of the existing criminal system, focusing particularly on probation and parole. It ends with implications that restorative justice has for the community.
Parliament of New Zealand . Parole Act 2002.
Section 7: Guiding Principles When making decisions about, or in any way relating to, the release of an offender, one of the principles that must guide the Parole Board's decisions is that the rights of the victim are upheld, and victims' submissions and any restorative justice outcomes are given due weight (section 7(2)(d)). Section 35: Direction for detention on home detention The outcome of any restorative justice processes that may have occurred is one of the factors to be considered by the Parole Board when considering an application for home detention (section 35(2)(b)(v)). Section 36: Detention conditions With the approval of a probation officer, an offender on home detention may leave the residence in which he or she is detained to (section 36(3)(c)): attend a restorative justice conference or other process relating to the offender's offending, or carry out any undertaking arising from any restorative justice process. (excerpt)
Dooley, Michael. The New Role of Probation and Parole: Community Justice Liason
The field of probation and parole has been experiencing dramatic change in recent years. Critical shifts in orientation, roles, and responsibilities have occurred. Against this background, Michael Dooley examines the most recent changes and challenges for probation and parole in relation to the emergence of community and restorative justice. He looks at roles, responsibilities, traits, and characteristics for professionals in probation and parole. Specifically, he discusses restorative justice job profiles, general duties of a community resource liaison worker, and the nature of change in implementing new roles.
Timothy J. Howard and Lewis, Alan Dana. Parole officers’ perceptions of juvenile offenders within a balanced and restorative model of justice.
Balanced and restorative justice is a model of justice that is less retributive and less offender-centered. It focuses on restoring victims and their communities. Basic precepts are these: offender accountability; offender competency development; and community protection. In this context, Lewis and Howard conducted a research study into perceptions of parole officers toward juvenile offenders within the Ohio Department of Youth Services, which is attempting to integrate a balanced system of justice into its programs and services. The authors believe these perceptions provide a basis to measure the components of balanced and restorative justice in a juvenile justice system. This article summarizes their method and their results.
Petrunik, Michael and Fedoroff, J. Paul and Murphy, Lisa. American and Canadian Approaches to Sex Offenders: A Study of the Politics of Dangerousness.
In this Article, we describe and attempt to account for differences between American and Canadian approaches to managing the dangerousness of sex offenders, whether through community protection legislative initiatives; treatment, including cognitive-behavioral therapy and pharmacotherapy, such as the use of antiandrogens; or restorative justice alternatives, such as Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA). Over the past two decades, in both the United States and Canada, clinical models of dangerousness emphasizing diagnosis and treatment of psychopathology have been supplanted by approaches emphasizing actuarial risk assessment and risk management. In addition, concerns with fundamental justice issues, such as due process, proportionality, and privacy rights, have given way to community protection concerns. However, in the United States, community protection concerns promoted by politically influential victims’ advocates within and outside of government have arguably been more influential than in Canada. Additionally, a variety of factors, including a generally more cautious approach to legislative reform, sensitivity to the limits posed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms enacted in 1982, and a less politically influential victims’ movement, have limited the speed and extent of the development of the community protection approach in Canada. (excerpt)

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