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Understanding Probation and Parole Essay

If you don’t follow the Criminal Justice System closely and what they stand for it is easy to confuse many departments within our states. The media and many members of the public often commit this error when it comes to what Probation and Parole stand for and their purposes. I myself use to mistaken these two as being one, but thanks to the my major Criminal Justice and Criminology and the courses I have taken at Arizona State University, I have learned that these two types of supervisions are.

Probation is for offenders sentenced under courts while on the other hand we have parole that is for offenders that are being put back into the community and are receiving a lesser sentencing by the courts. (Joan Petersilia and Susan Turner) This is just a small portion of what they truly are, after reading this essay you will be well informed and will understand the similarities and differences between Probation and Parole, along with the actual definitions according to reliable sources. Probation is a legal, punitive, and merciful system, also includes a suspension of their sentence by the court. Since the a sentence wasn’t impose, the offender remains in the community until the length of his sentence has expired, unless while on probation the offender engages in any new conduct that would warrant for his arrest. (Lewis Diana) Treatment is part of probation, but it isn’t its main focus to probation officers are to obtain reports on the activities that their client are involved in. Basically this is a second chance to the offender, but it leaves everything in their hands to the kind of future they want to obtain.

A probation officer will be assigned to a probationer, this officer will keep track of their client to make sure that they have been living a crime free life. These are the basics of Probation, while it might not be the main focus for an officer to make sure they stay out of trouble it is a goal they will try and achieve to keep them from going to jail or prison. Parole is where an inmate promise to conduct himself or herself in a law abiding manner and according to certain rules in exchange for freedom. (Robert M. Garber and Christina Maslach) A Parole officer’s main focus is to keep surveillance on their parolees instead of a more rehabilitation role. If they were to commit a new crime or violate their conditions it can result in a parole revocation. Once a prison inmate is given a chance to be on parole they will become parolees and be assigned a parole officer. Six months prior to their release they will meet with a parole officer which will be helping them obtain the basic necessities for when they are released such as not using drugs, a place for them to stay, and new skills for them to get a job once released.

All this is done to help them be prepared for when they are released, many of these criminals have been in prison for over ten years. In ten years our technology has been advancing at a rapid speed which they have not experienced. After they are released they will be assigned a new parole officer, this officer will be the ones to make sure they have been following agreements and make sure if they do commit a new crime that, they serve the time. Moreover one can tell that these different types of supervision have their similarities and difference just by the details that I have provided. Under those circumstances, probation and parole have a more than a few things in common. First, while a client is serving their time under probation or parole they are required to follow the rules and special circumstances that have been set upon them to continue to serve their time in the community. By breaking the rules which requires them to stay out of trouble with the law, if they were to break one of these two simple, but important rules there will be rearrested and might be forced to finish serving their time behind bars. Moreover, if they were to violate their conditions or commit a new crime either probation or parole they will have to face the consequences of their freedom being revoked. Additionally, both these department deal with every kind of offenders from sexual to serious crimes such as murderers. They deal with these offenders, while trying to rehabilitate them to be able to contribute in society.

Which brings me to my final point, “these services are responsible for assisting him or her with his or hers personal adjustment and relationships to society.” (George H. Weber) Overall, probation and parole both punish their clients if they were to break any rules that have been set upon them or if they do commit a new crime a warrant will be issued for them to be arrested. But in the end both these departments are trying to keep these individuals away from a life of crime. Keeping these individuals on the right path is what is best for society. As a matter of fact, probation and parole also have a few differences. Apart from having different names, probation and parole aren’t issued in the same manner. For someone that has been granted early release from a prison sentence are supposed to report to a parole officer, while individuals that are on probation are offenders that are being sentenced by a court to serve their time in the community, but they themselves have to report to a probation officer. Another difference between them, is these agreements are being granted by two different branches. Parole officers report to parole boards under the executive branch, while probation officers are required to report to courts only and are under the judicial branch. ” It is the responsibility of the probation agents to make case studies for the court and work with offenders under the terms imposed by the court.” (George H.) As a result of this, they have different job responsibilities and work organization. Another difference between these two institutions is that most of the offenders that are being put on parole are people who are low risk or even elderly and can’t be a danger to society.

In conclusion, these two institutions are being supervised under two different branches, such as probation officers reporting to courts and parole officers to a parole board. Also, that courts are under the judicial branch of the government and parole boards are under the executive branch. Lastly, most individuals on parole are low risk offenders, that’s why they are released from prison before serving their full sentence. As one can see, there are many similarities and differences between two institutions that have been confused to be the same. But they are two different departments, probations and parole both are set by the government to supervise individuals that have gotten disciplined with the law. These individuals are sanctions to serve their time in the community with the promise of not committing any new crimes or breaking the rules set upon them. They also have many differences, parole are for offenders that are coming out of prison. They have been granted the privilege to serve their time within the community while under the supervision of a parole officer. While probation is meant for individuals that have been sanction by a judge that instead of having to go to jail or prison they are agreeing to be put on probation and be monitored by a probation officer. Overall, these community correction policies are set to help these offenders to have a crime free lifestyle. It is yet another technique from the criminal justice system to help offenders generate wealth and help their communities instead of causing crimes and requiring communities to fear for their safety.

* George H. Weber, Explorations in the Similarities, Differences and Conflicts between Probation, Parole and Institutions The Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology, and Police Science , Vol. 48, No. 6 (Mar. – Apr., 1958), pp. 580-589 http://www.jstor.org/stable/1140254

* Lewis Diana, What Is Probation?The Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology, and Police Science , Vol. 51, No. 2 (Jul. – Aug., 1960), pp. 189-208 http://www.jstor.org/stable/1141190

* Joan Petersilia and Susan Turner, Intensive Probation and Parole, Crime and Justice , Vol. 17, (1993), pp. 281-335 http://www.jstor.org/stable/1147553
* Robert M. Garber and Christina Maslach, the Parole Hearing: Decision or Justification? Law and Human Behavior , Vol. 1, No. 3 (1977), pp. 261-281 http://www.jstor.org/stable/1393519
* Carl B. Klockars, Jr. A Theory of Probation Supervision, The Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology, and Police Science , Vol. 63, No. 4 (Dec., 1972), pp. 550-557 http://www.jstor.org/stable/1141809

* Joan Petersilia, Probation in the United States, Crime and Justice , Vol. 22, (1997), pp. 149-200 http://www.jstor.org/stable/1147573

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