Providing Assistance to Parole Board Members


In its over 40-year history, CEPP has delivered targeted, substantive assistance and resources to paroling authorities across the country. CEPP’s training for parole board members focuses on topics such as release decision-making frameworks, the role of assessment tools in parole, effective responses to violations of supervision, interviewing techniques, and release planning.

Our Approach

The role of paroling authorities in the criminal justice system is a critical one. In an era in which prisons may be overcrowded, rehabilitative programming is often unavailable, parole caseloads can be high, and people face increasingly complex challenges to reintegration and rehabilitation, the decision-making responsibilities of paroling authorities are more complicated than ever. However, specialized training or assistance for parole boards—whose memberships experience frequent turnover—is limited.

Training and assistance delivered by CEPP can help parole board members carry out their responsibilities in a manner that is consistent with evidence-based or best-practice literature, develop strategic plans and implement desired changes in practice, provide information to key stakeholders, and meet specific responsibilities associated with their positions. In 2022, CEPP presented to the chairs of paroling authorities from 40 states on emerging and best parole practices at the annual meeting of the Association of Paroling Authorities InternationalCEPP has also worked one-on-one with 45 parole boards and counting, including in Georgia, Kansas, Nebraska, and Texas.

CEPP’s training has been on a wide variety of topics, such as:

  • The history of parole and how it has changed over time, including a shift in focus to encourage the success of people being considered for and released on parole
  • Current research on subjects such as parole decision making, condition setting, violation decision-making guidelines, assessment, and effective interviewing styles
  • The value of cross-agency collaboration (e.g., with community and institutional programs and departments of corrections)
  • Performance measurement and its importance in understanding the impact and outcomes of decision making

Trainings have actively engaged participants through experiential learning exercises, case scoring, and simulated decision making, that allow participants to apply the information they have learned and the tools they have explored during the training to sample cases.

The Impact

Parole board members face an enormously complex set of responsibilities, including decision making about the timing of a person’s release from prison, the setting of parole conditions, and whether to return a person to prison for violating those conditions. Given the critical nature of these responsibilities, parole board members should strengthen their awareness of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for this specialized area of the criminal justice system. However, in practice, they are often asked to engage in this work and make critical decisions about people’s lives and liberty without the benefit of adequate training and support.

The training and assistance delivered by CEPP equip parole board members to carry out their responsibilities more effectively and equitably. To learn how your parole board can receive training and support, visit our Contact page.

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