Rehabilitation vs. risk: What predicts parole board decisions and rehabilitation authority recommendations?

Dror Walk*, Netanel Dagan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Parole decisions have a dramatic impact on individuals’ lives as well as public safety. Studies seeking to discern which factors predict parole decisions highlighted the role played by correctional reports submitted to parole boards by rehabilitation authorities; however, very few offered any in-depth insight into them. Moreover, research also failed to explore the interplay of reasoning employed by parole boards and rehabilitation authorities, which seem to represent different orientations and interests—risk reduction vs. the chances of rehabilitation. Using a quantitative content analysis of documents composed by parole boards and the rehabilitation authority in Israel, we have extracted risk or chance factors from 306 cases. Logistic regression models demonstrated that, while rehabilitation authority recommendations may be predicted solely by factors that focus on rehabilitation, as can be expected, parole board decisions seem to give similar weight to both rehabilitation and risk factors. The study's findings shed light on the dynamic of these two organizations and could enhance public trust in the early release process.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalPunishment and Society
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.


  • parole board
  • prisoner reentry
  • rehabilitation authority
  • risk factors


Dive into the research topics of 'Rehabilitation vs. risk: What predicts parole board decisions and rehabilitation authority recommendations?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this