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Probation and Parole- More Than a Way of Getting Criminals out of Prison - Research Paper Example

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Probation and Parole – More Than a Way of Getting Criminals out of Prison Introduction Throughout history the punishment for crime has varied substantially depending on many different factors such as the leadership that was present and the crime that was committed…
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Probation and Parole- More Than a Way of Getting Criminals out of Prison
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Download file to see previous pages In recent years there has been a problem in the United States of the prison population rapidly growing, which has been causing financial problems as well as issues with finding the space to incarcerate the criminals . As a consequence, there has been a trend towards probation and parole as methods of getting criminals out of prison earlier and back in society. In addition to reducing prison population, it is thought that this may also help the individuals to successfully rehabilitate into society, reducing their rate of recidivism. Although studies indicate that the success of probation and parole may be limited, the process nevertheless appears to be effective for some individuals, and there are processes that can be undertaken to increase this effectiveness. Prevalence of Probation/Parole Parole and probation are widely used as means of justice, and these are often considered to be community corrections. Probation is part of the sentence that is initially handed from the judge when following a trial. It can occur in addition to or instead of time in prison. Parole occurs when an inmate is conditionally released from prison after serving all or a part of his sentence. In both cases the individual is under a set of conditions, such as they are not allowed t associate with certain individuals, cannot commit crimes or visit certain locations. If the individual breaks these conditions, then they are subject to imprisonment. In many cases the offender’s attendance to these conditions is determined by their supervision by a parole or probation officer. The number of individuals under community correction at any given time is high, much higher than that of the prison population. For example, in 2003, there were around 2.1 million adults incarcerated, but approximately 4.8 million undergoing either parole or probation . These numbers were not unique to that year, but instead represent the general trend . There is no unified system for probation and parole across states. Instead each state has their own guidelines and laws surrounding the circumstances in which criminals are eligible, the length, restrictions that are placed on the individual and other factors . Because of this, the manner in which individual supervisors treat those they are in charge of differs significantly between different people, cities and states . The recent changes in sentencing laws have resulted in an increase in the number of people who are receiving community corrections . It is likely that any solution to the problem of high numbers of incarcerated inmates will result in increases to the number of people under probation and parole . This will result in an increased workload for those involved in supervision of offenders. The power of officers has increased significantly in recent times. Currently many parole and probation officers are able to carry weapons, as well as administer drug tests to determine whether the offender is remaining drug free . Effectiveness One of the key roles of probation and parole is to reduce the rate of criminals reoffending. This is an important issue, as more than two thirds of released prisoners have been found to reoffend within three years of their release . Studies have shown that while probation and parole can be effective as a method of sentencing for many individuals, the rate of recidivism remains very high . One factor that limits the effectiveness of probation is the fact that a large number of people on probation and par ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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