There are three interdependent agencies (law enforcement, courts and corrections) which work at the federal and local levels. The present criminal justice system is based on three theories; retributive, rehabilitative and restorative theories. These are basically the steps that an offender must go through in order for the system to succeed. (Thomas 2005) Probation and parole in correction The use of parole and probation is governed by two competing philosophies; positivism and classicalism.
Classicalist’s posits that offenders choose their behavior and therefore they should be punished to avoid future criminal acts. On the other hand positivists assert that individuals are forced to commit crimes and therefore the conditions that lead to such behaviors must be corrected, ultimately leading to the rehabilitation of the offender. Legal acts and public opinion dictate the application of parole and probation. Probation refers to the withholding of sentence and allowing the offender to serve sanctions imposed by the court while living in the community.
This is the most used correctional option that does it work under the probation department. Probationers are required to adhere to condition set by the courts including reporting to the probation officers and maintaining employment (Bureau of Justice Statistics 1988). Probation and parole officers have two main functions in the criminal justice system. First they help in decision making process which involves investigation work to help the courts in making decision to probation in lieu of a prison sentence. For parole the decision would be to release the offender from jail.
Secondly the officers provide supervision for those offenders who are judged suitable for release back to the community (Bureau of Justice Statistics 1988). The origin of probation Probation can be traced to the use of several judicial practices used in England and American courts. Bail for example allowed defendants who accepted certain conditions for release to go back to the community to wait for trial. After setting the bail conditions the judges failed to do anything later. Thus the defendants were released to the community on conditions just like today.
If they did not meet the requirements of the release, the set conditions were revoked (Thomas 2005) Probation is used mainly for convicted offenders although it is used sometimes to supervise those offenders who have not been convicted. It can also be used incarceration in several ways such as split sentences and intermitted sentences . Someone given a split sentence would be incarcerated for a short period (6 months) before beginning probation. Intermittent incarceration requires those on probation to spend right or weekends in jail. (Thomas 2005)