The releaseProfiles parameter on the perform goal is not taken into consideration when no other profiles are passed in the command line. In other words, the current code only uses the value of the parameter if you have additional profiles passed in.
mvn release:perform -P someProfile (uses releaseProfiles value)
mvn release:perform (does NOT use releaseProfiles value)
The plugin should use the parameter even if no other profiles are passed. It should actually encourage release profiles configured in your POM as opposed to arbitrary profiles passed in the command line.
I have included a patch that uses the releaseProfiles parameter regardless of any profiles passed in the command line.