There are a number of reasons for recording parole interviews, including to permit effective appeals, should the right to appeal parole decisions be restored. Below is an excerpt from a list of reasons to record parole interviews.
The “substantial and compelling reasons” given for denying parole to people who are statistically at low risk for re-offending are often grounded in the parole interview. The interview is conducted by a single board member, for as little as 10 minutes. Denial is commonly based on the interviewer’s conclusion that the prisoner failed to show adequate insight, empathy or remorse. These conclusions often contradict the evaluations of therapists who oversaw the person’s participation in year-long group therapy sessions.
They are sometimes inconsistent with the conclusions drawn from previous interviews.
If prisoner parole appeals are restored but the interview is not recorded, the reviewing court will have no basis for determining whether the reason for decision actually meets the statutory standard. Recordings would also be available for appeals by prosecutors and victims of decisions to grant parole, which are currently allowed.