Structured Decision Making Framework Implementation Project

Department of Justice National Institute of Corrections
Posted on

Application Deadline

Type

Fellowship / research funding

Reference Number

20CS06

In recent years, interest in high-quality parole decision making process has grown significantly. Paroling authorities are under considerable pressure and subject to substantial public and government scrutiny. It is in this environment that the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) developed, in collaboration with the Legal Decision-Making Lab of Carleton University, a tool designated the Structured Decision Making Framework (SDMF) – to improve decision making for offenders being released into the community from prisons. This tool acts as a road map or guideline for parole board members to help them reach consistent, transparent and defensible release decisions. The structured approach guides parole board members through the deliberation process of making parole decision by considering the incarcerated persons information that has been demonstrated to be closely linked to positive post-release performance. The SDMF tool’s use has been supported through research in Canada and in the US by NIC. The research has demonstrated that using the SDMF increases both accuracy and accountability. Given the high stakes involved in parole decision making, even minimal improvements in the predictive accuracy can result in fewer victims and safer communities. In short, the SDMF is a standardized and structured approach for decision making process that has been validated. It is a due diligence model grounded in evidence-based practice.The program is designed for parole releasing authorities, its members and related criminal justice stakeholders. The strengths of the SDMF are its standardization of decision making criteria. The SDMF uses the following “domains” (criteria) for releasing decisions: criminal history/parole history; ability to control behavior; responsivity; institutional behavior; offender change and; release plans. The SDMF also considers other factors that are relevant to the offenders’ case or required by law such as victim and community input. Through the use of the SDMF tool, parole board members are able to determine whether these domains have a mitigating or aggravating effect on offenders if they are released back into the community.
Categories: Other (see text field entitled "Explanation of Other Category of Funding Activity" for clarification).

More Information

Posted on

Application Deadline

Type

Fellowship / research funding

Reference Number

20CS06

United States