The ReThink Justice DC Coalition has been actively advocating to transfer the parole function from federal control to local District control through the work of its New Vision: Alternatives to Incarceration Committee. Last year the ReThink New Vision Committee published a report titled Establishing Principles for the Creation of a Local Paroling Authority and in April 2021 it published a three-page summary briefing presenting a blueprint for a new, District-controlled parole authority. This week several committee participants testified at the DC Council Judiciary Committee local control of parole roundtable.
On May 7, 2021 and May 10, 2021 we published two documents that supplement the earlier reports and provide important details supporting the creation of a District-controlled parole authority when the term of the US Parole Commission expires at the end of 2022. These reports were prepared in partnership with with the DC Reentry Task Force and are presented in a Frequently Asked Questions format.
Building the blueprint for a District-controlled parole function is a work in progress. Community input and dialogue is needed to add further clarity and transparency to what is outlined here for parole decision-making.
Report: Parole Release Decision-Making
This report answers questions and concerns about how a transformed decision-making approach could work. It addresses public safety objectives while bringing a restorative justice approach to creating a supportive reentry action plan.
Report: Revocation of Parole and Supervised Release
This report imagines a completely different approach to making parole and supervised release revocation decisions. Much of the work of the U.S. Parole Commission involves sending supervised individuals back to prison, often for non-criminal administrative violations of supervision rules. The report answers questions and responds to concerns about how a DC-controlled parole authority will handle violations and provide due process protections while treating administrative violations as a failure of supervisory or reentry support functions. It calls for a collaborative problem-solving action plan from CSOSA, MORCA and community-based service providers.