Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $75,000)
The Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet is proposing to conduct the third phase of an existing project previously funded under the SJS-SAC program to analyze the operations of the parole board over time, and to assess the outcomes of cases reviewed by the Parole Board. This project will add additional sources of information to a dataset of all cases that were reviewed by the Parole Board. The dataset will allow the KY SAC to assess outcomes and parole decision-making, and will allow the SAC to stratify the sampled cases based upon the specifics of the offender and offense. In this phase the existing data, compiled with 2020 funding, will be linked with additional sources of administrative and case management data. In addition, this phase of the project will allow for the collection of qualitative data through direct interactions with parole board members and other stakeholders. The dataset will include all of those individuals who were either eligible for parole or who appeared before the Board for a revocation hearing, and will provide information about their demographics, risk/protective factors, criminogenic needs, substance use, custody classifications, administrative sanctions, treatment programming, and offense type as well as the decision reached by the Board, the composition of the panel, and any additional notes or information that are available. A project of this type will build upon the work will provide a more complete representation of Parole Board Operations, and will provide additional information regarding the experiences of those that return to Kentucky communities after a period of confinement in a DOC institution. The Special Emphasis component of this project is being requested under Priority B: Analysis of state criminal history records, and will build upon the previous phase of the project described above. Data sets created from the Core Capacity project will be used to identify outcomes (e.g. re-arrest, return to custody, additional charges, deferment/serve out, revocation, etc.) for those who appeared before the Parole Board. This phase of the project will provide evidence that will help Kentucky better understand the Parole Board process and operations, and identify factors that influence outcomes such as the composition of the panel, case and offender characteristics, external influences, and the like. Although this project primarily uses administrative data from within the Commonwealth, it will allow state policy makers, as well as those in other states, to more effectively direct scarce funding. Additionally, this project will improve the translation of evidence into program, practice, and policy decisions, and will provide a mechanism by which the performance of the Parole Board and other elements of the criminal justice system can be assessed.