Temple University criminologist John Goldkamp, who accepted Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell’s request Monday to conduct a “top-to-bottom” review of Pennsylvania’s parole system, knows very little about the new assignment or how long it will take to complete, says the Philadelphia Inquirer. Goldkap plans to focus on how other states release violent offenders into society. The study is being done in the wake of the second slaying in four months of a city police officer by a paroled felon.
Each month, about 1,000 prisoners are released on parole from Pennsylvania’s prisons. “That makes for a lot of pressure,” Goldkamp said. “I have the pressure of knowing that to some extent, our work is holding up the release of some people who are fully prepared to be released.” Goldkamp will examine the cases of the parolees who gunned down Sgt. Patrick McDonald last week and Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski in May. He stressed that he was “not interested in finding blame, although that seems to be the environment right now.” Instead, he added, he plans to “look at the process of the system, and its strengths and weaknesses and what might be done to make it better.”