Probation Versus Parole

Although parole and probation are both considered alternatives to incarceration, they have some differences. Probation occurs before prison sentence, where an individual is given an opportunity to show that they can rehabilitate. On the other hand, parole is a term that is used to denote supervised release. According to (Sieh, 2006) in parole, the prisoner is often released before completion of the prison sentence on temporary or permanent basis with a condition that they meet certain guidelines or terms of good behavior. The defendant on probation reports to the probation officer while that on parole reports to the parole officer.

            The parole officer’s role includes mandated visits to the defendant’s home, office or site in order to supervise the behavior of the released prisoner. On the other hand, the probation officer are concerned with enforcement of court orders, by monitoring programs such as alcohol and drug treatment and assisting the person under probation in transitioning to the society (Stohr, Walsh & Hemmens, 2012). The parole and probation officers have the authority to investigate and make an arrest of their charges. They have authority under certain conditions to disregard the civil liberties such as the one protected under the 1st and 4th Amendments. For example, a parole officer can make unwarranted searches based on a hunch of a criminal offense by the parolee or the probationer. Such authority is important as it allows the officers to make arrests without possible impediment by the constitutional provisions.

            The difference between the state and federal probation and parole officers in terms of jurisdiction and inmate cases they supervise is that the state probation and parole officers oversee the offenders who have been convicted of state crimes, whereas the federal probation and parole officers oversee offenders convicted of federal crimes. The federal parole officers work under the request of the chief judge, while the state parole officers work for the state.

Differences between probation and parole

While parole and probation are both regarded as community corrections and engage supervision in the society, they vary in various ways. Probation is a term of supervision over a convict by a court as an alternative of serving time in prison (Abidinsky, 1991). Therefore, it is a punishing alternative presented to local judges as an alternative to incarceration. In most cases, the whole probation prison term gets served under supervision in the society. The court preserves the power to supervise, amend situation, call off probation and resentence if the probationer defies the stipulations of probation. However, the responsible organizations for supervising probation can be either local or state.

In contrary to probation, parole is the premature discharge of prisoners from correctional institutions before the conclusion of the sentence on the stipulation of excellent conduct and supervision in the society (Abidinsky, 1991). The parole board is the lawfully elected paroling authority. The board has the power to discharge on parole juveniles or adults who get dedicated to correctional institutions, to set situation that should be pursued in supervision, to cancel parole and revisit the convict to an institution, and to release from parole. Therefore, probation is a front-end verdict that is made before imprisonment in a jail, whereas parole is a back-end verdict to discharge convicts from jail.

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