History and Development of Probation and Parole in the Correctional System

Probation and Parole

Probation and parole refer to forms of sentences. Probation is a sentence that delays or suspends a full-time incarnation term in jail or prison. In return for the delayed or suspended sentence, the judge orders the lawbreaker to return to the community based on certain conditions and rules that the offender must abide by. Parole also works as probation wherein the offender is released from prison back to the society, though she or he must abide by specific conditions and rules. Failure to adhere to these rules normally implies returning to prison. The paper reviews parole and probation in the United States, discussing its history and development, why probation is offered, types of probations and their conditions, and collaboration and accountability in the provision of parole.

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History and Development of Probation and Parole in the Correction System

The probation use in the United States is mostly credited to a Boston shoemaker, John Augustus. Augustus, between 1841 and 1858, posted bail for about 2000 children, women, and men, who otherwise had no means of paying their fines, particularly people arrested with minor offenses. Augustus aided the bailed offenders in attaining employment and reported their reformation progress. This was later followed by the enactment of the probation statute in 1878 in Massachusetts, and by 1956 the federal government had embraced adult and juvenile probation laws and all 50 states had enacted the probation statute. The federal prisoner parole started after legislation enactment in 1910. There was an establishment of a parole board containing three people that offered three federal parole and penitentiaries at every institution.

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By 1950, the parole board had eight members and was placed under the Department of Justice. Three of these members were assigned duties by the attorney general to work in the youth correction division based on Youth Correction Act. In 1976, there was an act that changed the Board of Parole to the U.S. Parole Commission and made it an independent agency in the Department of Justice. A parole sentencing guideline was enacted in 1984, through the Comprehensive Crime Control Act. By 1997, the parole commission had extra responsibilities including taking responsibility for all parole release decisions in various states. The parole commission has continued to develop protocols and oversee parole activities in the U.S. criminal justice system to date (Zapryanova, 2020). 

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Four Reasons for Probation and the Goals Achieved throughout the Process

The four reasons for offering probation and the attained goals include safety, rehabilitation, security, and treatment. Probation and parole were initially founded on the humanitarian ground of offering offenders a second chance and helping them reform. Even today, probation focus on reforming offenders to help them overcome crime and live a more decent life. Probation is also done for treatment purposes. This mostly happens among individuals who have been found to have mental illnesses that influence their behaviors. Treatment aims to prevent reoffending based on individual mental conditions and to overcome psychological illness symptoms to be able to live a normal life. The other reason for probation is safety through treatment and training in new ways of living other than crime. Probation is also used to guarantee the safety of minor offenders, particularly juvenile offenders. Exposure to prison is sometimes found to do more harm than good to minor offenders who mostly come out more hardened than they were.

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Sometimes, juvenile offenders may be subjected to some traumatic experiences that affect their psychological wellbeing. Probation makes it easier to correct these offenders without adding new risks. Probation also serves to enhance community safety. Other than just releasing offenders who pay bails and ex-convicts without supervision, probation makes it easy to ensure that those people successfully integrated into society and that they do not pose any new security threat to the members of society. By treating the psychologically sick, and nurturing others into getting decent life, the criminal justice system help in reducing chances for future engagement in crime, and enhances people and property security in the community (Labrecque, 2017).

Types of Parole and the Conditions that are Often Assigned to the Offender

Parole refers to prisoners’ conditional release. It can occur in three main forms include mandatory, discretionary, and expiatory. Mandatory parole is also regarded as a good time system where a prisoner is rewarded with time off their sentence for being well behaved. These days are deducted from the sentence time, shortening the prisoner’s time in prison, and offered parole for a good time. The parole period in this case equals the accumulation of off days. The prisoner is whoever is offered supervised parole, where they are not supposed to re-offend or engage in any criminal activities during the period or they are taken back to the prison. Discretionary parole is when the prisoner goes to the parole board before the actual parole time and is granted parole. The parole board will evaluate various conditions before this is granted. The prisoner will be released under supervision. Expiatory parole happens when a prisoner has completed his or her prison term without off time. The prisoner, in this case, may have served an extra jail term. The parole conditions demand that one should stay away from criminal networks, and drug use (Labrecque, 2017). One should also report to the supervisory officers as instructed in the parole terms. In addition, the offender is required to maintain a residence, and not to go out of a certain geographical area. The offender has to maintain all the set conditions to remain free. In this case, the offender needs to be guided by Mark 9: 43 (ESV) “and if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.”

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Kind of Collaboration and Accountability Necessary to Ensure the Proper Execution of these Correction Methods

To ensure proper execution of the correction method, there is a need for a high level of collaboration between the prisoner officers involved in the daily supervision of imprisoned individuals, the parole board that determines the parole condition of each prisoner or offender, and the supervision officers responsible for ensuring an offer follows the parole terms. The prison warden needs to be accountable for the prisoner’s behavior while under incarceration. This will aid in making the right decision by the board after reviewing the changes that the prisoner has undergone in self-improvement. There is also a collaboration with the prisoner’s psychologist if the prisoner was undergoing any psychological treatment. The psychologist also needs to present reoffending assessment report to determine the prisoner’s chances of reoffending. Once the parole is decided, the parole supervision officers must ensure proper supervision to guarantee community safety and security.  The parole supervisors must determine when an offender should be removed from the community if unable to follow the set parole conditions. There is also community collaboration that helps in reporting any criminal engagement by an offender under parole or probation (Zapryanova, 2020).

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