Parole and probation are integral part in the criminal justice system that enhances the protection of victims, ensuring good behavior from offenders, and promoting overall community safety. Despite the motive behind the initiative of early release and consequent parole, controversies have arisen concerning early release of offenders from federal penal institutions. However, such controversies are based on the general public ignorance towards the specifics involved in parole. Some of the opinions by members of the public are usually biased in nature, concerning the justice system or criminals.
Most of the concerns do not usually reflect the reality of the situation on the ground, regarding the early release system or parole. Adding to these potential misinterpretations from the public, the parole system is in fact rather secretive by nature and the public usually gets wind of the knowledge, through ‘sensational’ or high profile figures being released. Apart from various misconceptions by the public, the parole system has its own share of problems in practical application.
The decision towards specifying inmates who have qualified for parole or early release, even when it is subjected to intensive examination process, through analysis of inmates reports concerning conducts of behavior, usually presents a large margin to errors. It is not possible to predict on 100 percent accuracy, that when an inmate is scheduled for early release that he or she will not re-offend. Consequently, when the parolee re-offends, leads to the public receiving the information concerning the parole system, further compounding on the negative image the system has.
Conclusion The parole system has always been at the centre of debate, and will always have both supporters and critics. Early release schemes since their inception had the motive of giving incentive to inmates, to adapt good behaviors and consequently motivate them to indulge in responsible education, work and religious activities while demonstrating productivity and reformed behaviors and character. In this respect, correctional authorities have been able to release low risk offenders, back into the community simultaneously easing expenses of maintaining and running prisons.
Decongestion of prison facilities has been always adopted by various governments in the past years, to save revenue in crippling economic times. However, such moves have usually received criticisms from the public and activists, who view such initiatives to present high risk to the community. The parole system receives its fair share of difficulties mostly in assessing inmates who have qualified for parole, and consequently making the decision hoping that the prisoner will not re-offend.
Parole is a common aspect in the criminal justice system, which may vary in specifics of conditions imposed, from one country to another, but the general principle more or less have the same characteristics. Parole will entail a qualified offender serving his part of the sentence, on community based programs while under supervision from parole officers, with the parolee subject to recall in the event of misconduct or re-offending. Parole in the correctional system has both its strengths and weaknesses, therefore requiring continuous revision and improvement of the system.
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