Probation and parole are two alternatives to incarceration. Many jurisdiction are looking more to probation as an alternative to incarceration and early release through parole to reduce the size of the prison population. Probation and parole officials are there to help offenders return to society and ensure compliance with the terms of the offenders’ release. What are the primary goals of using community corrections supervision for probation as an alternative to incarceration? What are the primary goals for parole or correctional supervision following release from jail or prison? Primary goals of probation. There are many goals for using community corrections supervision for probation as an alternative to incarceration; however, the main goals are to reduce the rate of crime. According to Families against Mandatory Minimums (2013), over 40% of offenders leaving prisons will commit another crime and return to prison within three years. Understanding the problem and getting help for the offender with prevent new crimes. Other goals are: Strengthening families and the community, savings to taxpayers as well as giving the court systems other options for sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration In A Nutshell, 2013).
Primary goals of parole. The primary goal of parole and correctional supervision is to allow individuals to re-integrate into society without any difficulties. Many times after an individual has served enough time in prison, the parole board may determine that an individual may be released. When an individual is released they are given the opportunity to finish serving their sentencing in the community under controlled conditions; parole/correctional supervision is part of the rehabilitation program, it is a mechanism to manage the risk of parolees to the community, and it’s an incentive to continue good behavior. Rehabilitation and re-integration are the main focus to everything. How important is it for offenders who are no longer incarcerated to have the ability to work to support themselves and to support their families? For many years the main focus of correctional systems has been the offenders during incarceration.
One major concern now is how the offender will support themselves and their families after incarceration. When offenders are released from incarceration it is very challenging for them to become integrated within the community and families. Many offenders face personal challenges such as low self-esteem, low motivation, skill deficits, lack of training, mental illness, substance abuse; and lack of stable accommodations. They also face social challenges such as negative peer influence, an absence of family support and poor employment records (Visher, 2005; Rakis, 2005; Graffam, 2004). These challenges can make it difficult for ex-offenders to support themselves or their families. The challenges must be addressed to keep the offender from returning to jail. That is why the system provides alternative programs to assure the ex-offenders a better way to return to society and be productive individuals.
Should a convicted offender released from incarceration be eligible for public assistance? Should their family–a spouse and children–be eligible? Public Assistance. Yes, currently depending upon each state, ex-offenders are eligible for different kinds of public assistance. If the assistance is already approved it can be because it was properly studied and evaluated. I consider that public assistance can be provided on a case-by-case basis with restrictions, and be monitored often. Ex-offenders should first participate in a rehabilitation program before they qualify for assistance programs. Some ex-offenders deserve a second opportunity in the community (Serving People from Arrest to Reintegration, 1999-2004). An offender’s family member should not be punished for the crimes of the offender. They should be allow to receive public assistance if the meet the qualifications.
There are many challenges for former inmates returning to society. Re-entry is the primary focus on parole officer to ensure that the offenders return to society is a productive one. It is important for offenders to have the appropriate resources in order to obtain the necessary training and support upon their release from incarceration to be able to support themselves and their families and become productive members of society.
Alternatives to incarceration in a nutshell (2013).