Elucidating the factors that influence parole decision-making and violent offenders' performance on parole

Jessica Mooney, Michael David Daffern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


A discretionary parole decision-making process is maintained in multiple jurisdictions internationally. There is a lack of contemporary research examining the factors that influence discretionary parole decisions, particularly in an Australian context. Moreover, there is no known research examining the relationship between these factors and the likelihood an offender will successfully complete their parole order. The current study investigated which factors were significantly associated with: (1) the parole decisions made by the Adult Parole Board of Victoria, Australia; and (2) the cancellation of an offender s parole order, in a sample of 146 violent offenders. Four variables emerged as significant predictors of the parole decision: aggressive disciplinary incidents; the Violence Risk Scale (VRS) total score; the Community Corrections Officer s (CCO) recommendations for release; and confirmed accommodation. At the multivariate level, the VRS total score and the CCO s recommendations remained significant predictors. With regard to parole cancellation, a range of factors were significant at the bivariate level; these included: a history of drug abuse; total prior convictions; aggressive disciplinary incidents; the VRS total score; previous parole cancellations; the CCO s recommendations; confirmed accommodation; and family support. However, family support emerged as the most important predictor in multivariate analysis. These findings provide valuable feedback to members of parole boards regarding the factors that influence their release decision and the factors subsequently linked to parole cancellation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385 - 405
Number of pages21
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology & Law
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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