Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Prison rehab tied to parole decisions

Date:
September 25, 2012
Source:
Simon Fraser University
Summary:
Parole board decisions can have a huge impact on whether or not prisoners are motivated to rehabilitate, according to a new study.

According to a new study co-authored by Simon Fraser University economics professor Steeve Mongrain, parole board decisions can have a huge impact on whether or not prisoners are motivated to rehabilitate.

The Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, has just published their study "Rehabilitated or Not: An Informational Theory of Parole Decisions" online.

Mongrain and his colleagues argue that parole boards need to consider the length of prisoners' original sentences, as well as their behaviour in prison, in granting early parole and determining eligibility for parole review.

"Our research shows that inmates with short sentences aren't motivated to rehabilitate by enrolling in addiction recovery and skills-building programs if they're in line for early parole," says Mongrain. "But that's not surprising. What is really revealing is our finding that inmates with long sentences are also not motivated to rehabilitate if their parole eligibility is a long way off."

Mongrain says an important application of this finding is in the context of legislative changes to constraints in the justice system. Any changes to laws governing parole eligibility need to be evaluated in terms of their impact on prisoners' motivation to seek rehabilitation and ultimately the rate of recidivism in prison and society.

"Most people in prison are there precisely because of their lack of impulse control. So very long sentences combined with long waits for parole eligibility can cause impatient inmates to conclude that rehabilitation is not worthwhile," explains Mongrain. "Studies show recidivism is directly tied to prisoners' completion of addiction recovery and skills-building programs. If they're not motivated to take them then recidivism goes up.

"Contrary to punishment, which is the big stick in our justice system, parole is the carrot we offer to prisoners as an incentive to rehabilitate. If we make the carrot smaller by telling prisoners with long sentences that we're lengthening the time of their parole eligibility, then we destroy their incentive to reform."

The other co-authors on this study are Dan Bernhardt, an economics professor at the University of Illinois, and Joanne Roberts, an economics professor at the University of Calgary.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Simon Fraser University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. D. Bernhardt, S. Mongrain, J. Roberts. Rehabilitated or Not: An Informational Theory of Parole Decisions. Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, 2010; 28 (2): 186 DOI: 10.1093/jleo/ewq008

Cite This Page:

Simon Fraser University. "Prison rehab tied to parole decisions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120925143914.htm>.
Simon Fraser University. (2012, September 25). Prison rehab tied to parole decisions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120925143914.htm
Simon Fraser University. "Prison rehab tied to parole decisions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120925143914.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins