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September 28, 2017

Yale Law School clinic report looks at "Parole Revocation in Connecticut: Opportunities to Reduce Incarceration"

A helpful reader alerted me to this new report released by The Criminal Justice Clinic at Yale Law School.  This press release from the school's website provides some background and a kind of summary of the report, which carries the title "Parole Revocation in Connecticut: Opportunities to Reduce Incarceration":

A new report highlights opportunities for the State of Connecticut to reduce the high rate of incarceration attributable to its parole revocation process. The report was written by the Samuel Jacobs Criminal Justice Clinic (“CJC”) at Yale Law School.

The report details the findings of a research project that began in the fall of 2015 after Governor Dannel Malloy announced the Second Chance Society initiative.  To support that initiative, CJC agreed to undertake a study of parole revocation in Connecticut to explore ways to reduce incarceration and to facilitate the reintegration of parolees into society....

As part of the CJC study, students and faculty personally observed 49 parole revocation hearings in Connecticut in November 2015.  Shortly after these observations, they reported the following findings to state officials:

  • The Board of Pardons and Paroles (BOPP) revoked parole in 100% of the observed cases.
  • BOPP imposed a prison sanction in 100% of observed cases.
  • Nearly all parolees in the observed cases waived their due process rights in the parole revocation process.
  • No parolee appeared with appointed counsel, even though several parolees seemed clearly to qualify for state-provided counsel under the constitutional standard.
  • The typical procedures at parole revocation hearings made it difficult for parolees to contest disputed facts or to present mitigating evidence. Without counsel, incarcerated parolees did not have a meaningful opportunity to develop evidence in support of their claims.

In 2016, CJC administered a follow-up survey to parolees whose hearings it had observed.  The survey revealed that most parolees did not understand the rights that they had waived during the parole revocation process.  The survey also revealed that 79% of the parolees interviewed had lost jobs as a consequence of parole revocation....

Over the last two years, BOPP has begun to implement reforms to its parole revocation practices in response to the CJC study. In 2017, BOPP asked that CJC present additional recommendations in writing, which led to the release of this report.

September 28, 2017 at 11:42 AM | Permalink


I am interested in a study at the end of parole or of probation. Officials find a trivial infraction, levy heavy fines or fees in the $thousands, and extend the term by many years. They never let the parolees or their fees go. The fees and extensions are done without any hearing or argument whatsoever.

This is a false use of the law, with clear profitability. I would like to know if such officials get any consideration for their successful extensions of paroles or probations.

I would appreciate hearing from people in that field about confirmation of this practice outside of Pennsylvania.

Posted by: David Behar | Sep 28, 2017 3:56:56 PM

"Without counsel, incarcerated parolees did not have a meaningful opportunity to develop evidence in support of their claims."

Can't Yale Law School ever put out a study that does not promote lawyer employment? These defendants are slick, manipulative, and make people do things they do not want to. They can fend for themselves, at no taxpayer expense.

Posted by: David Behar | Sep 28, 2017 3:59:44 PM

David what it says to me and anyone with a brain is that the entire parole hearing revocation system is nothing but an illegal kangaroo court. With the decks illegally stacked by and for the state with the verdict set before it even starts. Pity the parolees don't consider their return to prison an illegal detention and leave no matter who on staff they have to hurt or kill

Posted by: Rodsmith3510 | Sep 29, 2017 5:33:04 PM

Rod. A lady had the vacuum cleaner she borrowed from her mother in her trunk. They took the car, the vacuum cleaner. Neither has been returned. They levied a $3500 "fee," not a fine, and added 3 years to her term. She was an addict, but had clean urines.

Another guy did something as trivial. He had to pay $8000 in fees, and got an additional 5 years. He was doing well, working as a long distance trucker. They trusted him to travel out of state.

Posted by: David Behar | Sep 29, 2017 8:35:09 PM

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