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Parole: Early Release and Reentry

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1 Parole: Early Release and Reentry
Chapter 8 Parole: Early Release and Reentry

2 Parole The conditional release of a prisoner, prior to completion of the imposed sentence, under the supervision of a parole officer Discretionary Release: Early release based on the paroling authority’s assessment of eligibility Mandatory Release: Early release after a time period specified by law Pardon: An executive act that removes both punishment and guilt Reprieve: An executive act that reduces the severity of punishment but the person remains guilty

3 History Of Parole Rooted in 18th-century English penal practice of indentured servitude From 1775 through 1856 English offenders were sent to Australia Norfolk Island Captain Alexander Maconochie developed the “ticket-of-leave” system Crofton’s conditional release system, 1854 Dr. S.G. Howe of Boston first coined the term parole in 1846

4 Development Of American Parole
First parole legislation: Massachusetts, 1837 First parole program implemented at New York’s Elmira Reformatory, late 1870s Zebulon Brockway In 1931, the Wickersham Commission listed four “essential elements” of a good parole program In the 1970s, research found that prison rehabilitation programs had few positive benefits Presently, there is increasing support for the abolition of parole while others advocate reform

5 The Wickersham Commission
The Commission’s 1931 report cited four “essential elements” of good parole systems: Indeterminate sentencing laws Quality release preparation Parole officer’s familiarization with offender’s home and environmental conditions before offender’s release Sufficient staffing levels

6 Reentry The process of transition that offenders make from prison or jail to the community Estimates are that nearly 2,000 offenders leave prison every day and 2 out of every 3 are rearrested within 3 years of their release President Bush’s Second Chance Act of 2008 Council of State Governments’ The Report of the Re-Entry Policy Council Reentry issues for women Parole eligibility date - The earliest date on which an inmate might be paroled

7 Granting Parole Paroling authority - A person or correctional agency (often called a parole board or parole commission) that has the authority to grant parole, revoke parole, and discharge from parole Most important factors in the decision to grant or deny parole are the nature of the offense and the prior criminal record Salient factor score - Scale developed from a risk-screening instrument used to predict parole outcome

8 Types Of Parole Mandatory Parole - requires the correctional authority to grant parole after the inmate serves a specific period of time, as required by law Occurs in jurisdictions using determinate sentencing Most commonly used method Discretionary Parole – the decision to parole rests with a parole board or parole commission who reviews a case to determine whether they believe the prisoner is ready to be returned to the community Occurs in jurisdictions using indeterminate sentencing

9 Characteristics of Parolees
Parolee – A person who is conditionally released from prison to community supervision On January 1, 2006, 824,365 adults were on parole in the U.S. Women make up 12% of parolees Typically white, non-Hispanic male on mandatory parole and under active parole supervision for more than one year Median age of a parolee is 34 with an 11th grade education

10 Does Parole Work? 45 percent of the people discharged from parole in 2008 completed the terms of their community supervision without returning to prison or jail or absconding. First-time mandatory parole releases had a higher success rate than did first-time discretionary parole board releases but researchers found the opposite for re –releases.

11 Does Parole Work? - Continued
Of the nearly 482,180 parolees discharged from supervision in 2007, 183,253 (38 percent) were returned to prison because of either a technical violation (nearly three-quarters) or a new offense (one-quarter). Parole failures account for a growing proportion of all new prison admissions.

12 Can Parolees Vote? 5.3 million people in the U.S. have lost their right to vote as a result of a felony conviction (disenfranchisement) Only Maine and Vermont do not place any restrictions on the rights of felons (including prisoners) to vote

13 Arguments for and against felon disenfranchisement
As a matter of principle because offender committed a felony States have the right to deny as added punishment Sends a message about respect for the law, and acts as a deterrent to crime Felons cannot be trusted to make politically informed decisions

14 Arguments for and against felon disenfranchisement - Continued
Voting is not a privilege but a right Such laws are unfair to minorities who are treated unfairly by the criminal justice system Not an effective form of punishment; most felons did not vote before their incarceration Removing the right to vote is inconsistent with reentry By taking this right from one group, which group is next?

15 Reentry Court Manages the return to the community of individuals released from prison U.S. Department of Justice proposes reentry courts have six core elements: Assessment and planning Active judicial oversight Case management of support services Accountability to the community Graduated sanctions Rewarding success

16 Community Partnership Councils
All sectors of society meet with parole staff to: learn about parole operations and issues share what they learned with their communities generate positive publicity for parole A survey of Community Partnership Council parole officers in Texas reported the need for more treatment resources and job assistance from the community to help their parolees. They said this need may be served by Community Partnership Councils.

17 Reintegration of Offenders
Challenges facing parolees are employment readiness, substance abuse treatment, housing, and health care Four successful programs across the U.S. that offer life skills training and job preparation before inmates are released and job placement, social support, and follow-up assistance after release Chicago’s Safer Foundation Center for Employment Opportunities Reintegration of Offenders Corrections Clearinghouse

18 Reintegration Involving Victims
Victims can assist parole boards by providing relevant information, offering their experience and expertise, and encouraging offender accountability.

19 Abolition of Discretionary Parole Board Release
Opposition to parole in the 1930s resurfaced again in the 1970s with the introduction of “just deserts.” Sixteen states and the federal government have abolished discretionary parole board release from prison by a parole board for all offenders. Four states have abolished discretionary parole release for certain violent offenses or other crimes against a person. Reasons for abolition include: wide disparity, appears tough on crime, board’s closed decision-making, and rhetoric that parole was the cause of the rising crime problem

20 Prisoner Reentry and Community Policing
The fourfold increase in the number of persons being released each year from state and federal prisons over the past two decades In spite of all the efforts being made at prisoner reform, offenders are still leaving prison unprepared for successful reentry Make contact with former prisoners part of everyday law enforcement business

21 Community-Focused Parole
A process of engaging the community so the community engages parole have a mission statement the community understands make parole work more visible build partnerships

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