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A Brief History of Parole

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1 A Brief History of Parole
Revenge of the “Rehabilitative Ideal” and that scoundrel Martinson

2 What is Parole? A process of discretionary release from prison
Parole Boards A process of post-release supervision Parole Supervision

3 Early Precursors to Parole
Parole “born” in the 19th century, as governments moved away from corporal punishments (to “reform”) “Prisons” born first, and starting to become the punishment of choice. Spain: (1835) Manuel Montesinos Germany (1842) Georg Obermaier England (1837) Alexander Maconochie And a little love from Sir Walter Crofton (Ireland)

4 The Grammy goes to…. Maconochie/Crofton
Alexander Maconochie “Warden” for English penal colony at Norfolk Island (off coast of Austrailia) Criticized “determinate” prison terms Developed the “mark system” Good conduct, labor, study… got “marks” Marks got you privilege, and eventually release Fired in 1844 BUT, in 1853, England substitutes prison for transportation, and legalizes “ticket-of-leave” system Hired (1849) and Fired (1851) again in a different prison

5 Sir Walter Crofton Administrator of Irish Prison System
Implements Mac’s plan in 1854 Tickets of leave only for “reformation” Achievement (industry/education), positive attitudes The “Irish System” Strict Imprisonment Intermediate Ticket-of-leave Closer to “parole” than the English ticket (conditions, supervision)

6 Meanwhile, back in the U.S.
National Prison Association Importance of 1870 Meeting in Cincinnati “Irish System” part of “Declaration of Principles” Principles = Rehabilitative Ideal Indeterminate Sentences, Parole, “mark system” Zebulon “the Wolverine” Brockway Elmira Reformatory (NY) in 1876 Indeterminate sentence x parole Grades of Classification (first--good--to third--bad) Parole supervision for six months “Volunteer Guardians”

7 The Rise of Parole s Indeterminate Sentencing x Parole spread rapidly NY first state (1907) All but three states by 1927 This system reaches its peak in the 1970s By 1977, 72% of offenders released on parole Prisoner Reform (in reality?) Institutional Control Solution to Prison Crowding

8 The Attack on Parole Parole not liked by the American public
But, polls as early as 1934 reveal this (still holds today)…why in the 1970s? But, danger of polling questions? The 1970s revolution Conservatives (chance to pounce) JQ Wilson (deterrence/incapacitation only option) Parole as “coddling criminals” Liberals End racial/gender bias, boards as political fodder Fogel, Von Hirsch = “Justice Model”

9 The Results of the Attack
Maine eliminates parole in 1976 By the end of 1998, 14 states abolish 1984: Feds phase out (still “supervised release”) 21 additional states limit discretion of parole board Only 15 states still give broad discretion Only 28% of inmates released by parole boards in 1997 End result? No increase in time-served (other valves) Truth in sentencing has had an effect Both prison time and parole time have increased

10 Changes in the Nature of Parole Supervision
Like probation, parole supervisors embraced the “surveillance and control” model in the 1980s Whither counseling, job training, housing? Offenders as in need of “attitude adjustment POs absolved of responsibility for change Drug testing, but no drug tretment

11 Current forms of Release
Mandatory Release Conditional supervision if goodtime credits or other “early release” If full sentence, (expiration) no supervision, unless… Supervision included in sentence Federal Guidelines = “supervised release” Discretionary Parole Release

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