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9 Alaska Just. F. 1 (1992-1993)

handle is hein.journals/aljufor9 and id is 1 raw text is: ALASKA JUSTICE FORUM
A Publication of the                                                       Alaska Justice
Justice Center                                                        Statistical Analysis Unit
Spring 1992                UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA ANCHORAGE                 Vol. 9, No. 1

Parole Violators: A Glance

Samuel Trivette
It has been suggested that many
probation and parole violators who
have been returned to prison because
of their violations might instead be
better served by other sanctions, thus
relieving somewhat the overcrowding
within the Alaska prison system. In
1991 the Alaska Parole Board
compiled a profile of offenders
appearing before the board at parole
revocation hearings.  It was hoped
that the information assembled in
the profile could contribute to the
overall discussion of sentencing
issues. The following article presents
the results of this research on the
characteristics of probation and
parole violators.
The analysis involved the 67
revocation cases heard by the Alaska
Parole Board during summer quarter
1990. Overall, the board conducted
284 revocation hearings throughout
1990. A match of several data items
with the total data base for recent
years revealed that the 1990 summer
quarter data were typical of other
revocation data.
Background data on offenders in
the 67 revocation hearings were
taken from the Parole Board's risk
* The Bureau of Justice Statistics
reports on a nationwide survey of
prosecutors in state courts (page
* Research to explore the relation-
ship of Yupi'k culture and the
American legal system (page 4).
* A further look at the nonenforce-
ment activities of Village Public
Safety Officers (page 5).

score sheets for the parole violators.
The risk score sheet has been used
for all parole applicants for over a
decade, and the board has been using
the same instrument on a trial basis
on revocation cases for the last year.
Recently the board began to use the
score sheets on all prisoners being
released on mandatory parole; as a
result, scores will be available for all
future revocation hearings.
Summer 1990 Revocation Cases
The risk score sheets include a
variety of offenses and offender
characteristics, including prior
criminal history.  Information on
prior convictions, offense history and
offense severity is included. Among
the 67 Summer 1990 cases examined,
fourteen (21%) offenders had only
one felony conviction.  Fifty-three
(79%) offenders had two or more
felony convictions.  In only four
cases (6%) did the offenders have no
misdemeanor convictions.    In 15
cases (22%), offenders had one to
three misdemeanors and in 48 (72%)
cases the offenders had four or more
misdemeanor convictions.
Type of prior offense is also
important in risk assessment. In 44
cases (66%) the offender had at least
one conviction for burglary, criminal
trespass, forgery, checks or credit
card crime; in 23 (34%) the offender
had no such conviction. In 19 cases
(28%) the offender had a conviction
for a sexual assault crime, while in
48 cases (72%) the offender had not
been convicted of a sexual assault
crime. Of those with a sexual assault
conviction, none had completed an
institutional sexual offender
Substance abuse history plays a
role in risk assessment. In 52 cases

(78%) the offender had an alcohol
abuse history, while in 15 cases
(22%) there was no alcohol abuse
history.  In 32 cases (48%) the
offender exhibited no significant
drug abuse, while in 35 cases (52%)
the offender did.  In three cases
(5%) the offender had no probation
or parole revocation.
A majority of the offenders
examined had already incurred at
least one probation or parole
revocation. In 19 cases (28%) the
offender had one revocation; in 45
cases (67%) the offender had two or
more revocations.
Of the violators reviewed, 30
(45%) committed their violations
before completing three months of
supervision; 49 (73%) of the viola-
tions were committed before the
offender had completed six months
of supervision; and only five (7%)
completed more than a year of
supervision before committing the
violation. Overall, the range of time
on supervision before the violation
was committed was 0 months (1 to
29 days) to 16 months.
The average length of the jail
sentence for which the offenders
were on mandatory supervision was
4.4 years. If these offenders lost -no
good time, they would be on
mandatory parole about 18 months.
The shortest supervision length was
four months and the longest
supervision length was 35 months.
Forty per cent of the offenders had
supervision lengths of less than a
year.   Fifty-one per cent had
supervision lengths of one year to 25
months. Only nine per cent of the
offenders had supervision lengths of
25 months or longer.       More
offenders had supervision lengths of
Please see Parole Violators, page 3

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