Research Centers Are Partnering With the State on a Parole Assessment Tool

The Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation (CIDI), the Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development (CQGRD), and the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles are partnering to develop a decision-support tool to assist the parole board in estimating the risk of recidivism and the chance of success for released inmates. 

Currently, the state Parole Board uses a scientific-based, data-driven, risk assessment tool to assist in the determination of how much time an individual should serve prior to reentry into society.

This project will seek to enhance this process by including supplemental data surrounding the imposition of pre- and post-release conditions that would ensure success variables are present during an individual’s reentry into society from criminal justice system.

It will combine CIDI’s vast experience in prison vocational training programs and prisoner reentry and CQGRD’s expertise in machine learning and predictive analytics.

The CQGRD team, including research scientist Nima Goshani, will use non-linear statistical data modeling tools to develop a national model for improving the decision-making processes of parole boards nationwide,” said CQGRD Director Catherine Ross.

Officials hope the project will help determine factors among individuals that will lead to more parole success. While current assessment tools will continue to be used, this project will result in identifying case specific preconditions to parole and post release conditions for offenders in order to improve parole success. “Each additional success means improved public safety,” said Chris Barnett, Executive Director of Parole.

“Beyond changing the national focus from identifying risk factors to identifying success predictors, the other innovative piece of this project is the long-term goal to create the next assessment tool as an intuitive learning instrument that adjusts in ‘real time’ as additional data is provided,” said Guy Toles, Braille Services Manager of CIDI.

Ultimately, the state Parole Board is seeking to enhance their decision-making capabilities, parolee success rates, and public safety for all Georgians.

-- Tory Holder contributed to this article.

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  • CIDI and CQGRD researchers and parole board members. (Photo courtesy of State Board of Pardons and Paroles)

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