Parolein State Corrections
Paroleis defined as the release of a prisoner before his period of servicein jail, directed by courts, has expired. This is done with a periodof supervision where conditions and terms are imposed in regard torelease agreement. This period should be successfully completed.Parole is not a right but rather an act of grace of the state shownto an inmate who has demonstrated that he will not be a menace to thecommunity and society as a whole.
Oneof the major roles of parole is to rehabilitate and give theoffenders another chance of freedom and encourage good behaviorespecially in public. The offenders during their parole period shouldshow improvements and be willing to become productive members of thesociety. Failure to the then the parole board may send the offenderback to serve his sentence in jail. Parole being a correction branchof the criminal justice system, it prevents an offender fromcontinuing with his crime life. Rehabilitation may includecounseling, drug treatments and vocational training.
Anothermajor role is that parole protects the public by maintaining safety.Parole as a correction mechanism has to work hand in hand with thecommunity thus precautions must be taken as to what offenders shouldbe put under the watchful eye of parole officers. This means that theparole has a role of protecting the public from those offenders whomay not be willing to change and pose insecurity problems to thesociety, thus protecting the society from extra harmful acts that theoffenders may commit. Another and most important is that ofpunishment whereby the parole period is supposed to act as apunishment to the offender. This is supposed to act as a determent ofthe person repeating the same crime or engaging in other crime acts.
Afederal system is where by the powers of the government are dividedbetween the state and the local governments. This system allows forseparate privileges and powers on different levels of the government.
Withinthe federal system parole is not used though it’s not quite deadsince 1987. The offenders could only be released for parole afterhaving served for a third of their sentence. The decision to grant orto revoke the parole periods were made by the parole board at theindividual prisons. In the federal parole system it is still possibleto commit one to another of months or years as part of their basicsentence and without reducing the same. At the state level the parolesystem, the local agencies are in charge of foreseeing the offendersrather than the state parole.
Functionsof parole and a prisoner’s eligibility
Thereare three main purposes of parole, one is that due to the hardships aprisoner may go through trying to adapt to life after prison, theparole officer may help him get employment, accommodation, financialproblems and other problems that he is prone to.
Anotherpurpose is that parole helps in protecting the public from theoffender who may commit new crimes. Thereby helping the offender toestablish himself and prevent him from engaging in activities orsituations that may lead to committing of crimes.
Preventionof unnecessary imprisonments is another purpose of the parole. Thisis for those offenders who show remorse and are willing to changetheir behaviors. They are given a chance to go back to the societyand be productive and law abiding citizens. However they should meetthe criteria of parole and comply with the terms and conditions ofthe release agreement before they are set free. Failure to abide bythe rules of parole the offender is taken back to prison.
Parole eligibility is determined by the parole commission after aparole application is made. In most cases for full parole, for one tobe eligible he must have served a third of his sentence or sevenyears. The power of release is left to the parole board though theSentencing Act states that the court has the power not to make anoffender eligible for a parole release in regard to a sentence(s17(2)(a).
Offendersbecome eligible for parole only under laws of state which they wereconvicted and under federal laws if they were convicted under federalcourts. Federal courts have the power to sentence the offenders undercertain rules that make them eligible for parole at any time of theirsentence. In regard to eligibility offenders for instance thoseserving life sentences may only be eligible after serving a part oftheir sentences.
Roleof the parole officer
Aparole officer is a correctional officer who is responsible forsupervising in the correction centers. They are specialized and theysupervise the persons at the time of arrest’s time, during courtprogrames, probation period, during incarceration and also paroleperiod. An offender is released to the community under thesupervision of a parole officer this means that the officer will beresponsible for all the offender’s actions while out there. He hasa role of monitoring the inmate and ensures that all the conditionsof the release agreement are met. In addition to his supervisoryroles, parole officer is responsible for the mentally impairedinmates and are those unfit for trial. They are put under theofficers’ supervision subject to non custodial supervision.
Paroleofficer also has role of preparing records, maintain case records andstatistics as required by the parole board. He is also required tocarry out parole board directions as regards the orders made.
Theofficer should also investigate and make reports on any inmate’semployment and residence to the parole board on any inmate who hasapplied for a parole. These are pre parole investigations which willdetermine if the offender is eligible for a parole. He is required tolook into the offender’s criminal history and prison record.
Paroleofficer also has a role of rehabilitation where he is activelyinvolved in the molding of the offender by helping them acquiresocial skills and also job training. The parole officer also has arole of arresting a parolee who is about to or has committed a crimehe will thereafter help in jailing the parolee.
Prosand cons of the parole system
Changeof behavior at the parolee is unlikely to re offend after beingmonitored for a period of time. Parole program is intended toreintroduce one to the society one, thus avoiding and decreasingchances of a recurrence of criminal behavior. The parolee thenbecomes beneficial to himself and the society.
Duringthe parole period one is shown how to earn a living and sustainhimself therefore not dependent on the government’s money. Thisreduces states expenses which are channeled to other utilities.Parole also serves as an incentive for the offenders so that theystay out of trouble. Being granted parole means that you are wellbehaved and cold be given a second chance to freedom.
Aparolee may undergo some harsh treatments due to the society’sreaction after his release. Some community members may feel thatbeing a convict he shouldn’t go back to the society as they maycause community stigma. Another disadvantage is that the parolees maylack jobs due to employers who do not accept individuals who have acriminal record thus few employment prospects.
Clear, Todd R, George F. Cole, and Michael D. Reisig. AmericanCorrections. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2013.Print.
Morgan, Rodney, Robert Reiner, and Mike Maguire. The OxfordHandbook of Criminology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.Print.
Glaser, Daniel. The Effectiveness of a Prison and Parole System.Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1964. Print.
Decision Making in Criminal Justice: Toward the Rational Exerciseof Discretion. Boston, MA: Springer US, 1988. Internet resource.