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Parole and Truth in Sentencing Essay

To understand parole one needs to know what parole is and what it means. Parole is the status and early release of a convicted offender who has been conditionally releases from prison by a paroling authority before his or her sentence is expired. Parole and Probation have similar conditions. While an offender is on parole they have certain rules they need to follow. There is another form of parole which is Federal parole. Federal parole was determined by the Parole Board under the United Stated Parole Commission. Federal parole was changed after the Sentencing Reform Act.

The Sentencing Reform Act was a part of the U. S. Federal statute that was intended to increase the consistency in the United States federal sentencing; this abolished federal parole all together. Parole was introduced by Brockway Zebulon in 1876 as a way to reduce jail overcrowding and as a way to rehabilitate offenders by encouraging them to win back their freedom with good behaviors. The role of parole was to reduce prison terms based on good behavior. Another role of probation was to supervise the convicted after being granted parole and grant freedom to those who had uncertain sentences.

The reduction of jail terms after good and responsible behavior use to reduce indeterminate sentences. “There are 25 percent of inmates who are freed from prison are still paroled by the paroling authority, such as a parole board” (Schmalleger, F). Some conditions that affect parole would be the specific terms needed to be followed by the parolees. A parolee must check in with his parole officer within 24 hours after his release, they may be required to live in a certain area or with a certain person, and they may be required to stay away from certain people.

If any of these stipulations are broken the parolee will go back to prison to serve out the remainder of their time of incarceration. This is also known as revocation of probation. Revocation of probation is an administrative action of a paroling authority removing a person from parole status. Once an offender is back in prison he has to serve out the remainder of his time and also anytime he may get from any other crimes he may have committed. Some typical conditions that affect whether a person gets parole are the nature of their crime, prior criminal record, and most importantly the amount of time already served.

The goals of truth in sentencing are to improve the delivery of proportionate punishment and promote stability and predictability in offenders. “The abandonment of the rehabilitation goal, combined with a return to determine sentencing in many jurisdictions including the federal judicial system has reduces the amount of time an average corrections client spends on supervised parole”(Schmalleger,F pg. 424). In 1981 there was a revision that ensured that the credits to good behavior would exceed the length of the jail term: The more number of years one was to serve in prison the more the number of months they were likely to get.

The credits were as follows five days per month on sentences between six months and one year, six days per month on sentences between 1 years and three years, and eight days per month on jail term between 5 years and 10 years. Convicts that were sentenced to life in jail were to be released on the basis of parole once they served 15 years in prison. There were other amendments that were done in the year 1930 and years after which have overseen the current parole regime that we have today. The probation and parole system is very intricate and is changed greatly overtime.

Parole and probation are used all over the country and varies from state to state: even the truth in sentencing laws differ state to state. There are more parolees on parole than there has ever been all across the country and that number will only rise. As overcrowding continues to go on in prison, offenders will be released I feel like before they should be. Prison is meant to rehabilitate and to make the criminal think twice before committing a crime or giving him the skills he need to conduct a legal life style. Probation and Parole are 2 things that are an important part of the criminal justice systems.


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