Chapter 10 ? Probation, Parole and Community Corrections ? Learning Objectives ? After reading this chapter, you should be able to: ? Explain the history, nature, and purposes of probation. ? Explain the history, nature, and purposes of parole. ? Describe the advantages and disadvantages of probation and parole. ? Describe the legal environment surrounding the use of probation and parole, and list the names of significant court cases. ? Explain the nature of the job of probation and parole officers. ? Explain what intermediate sanctions are, and list the advantages of intermediate sanctions over more traditional forms of sentencing. ? Describe the likely future of probation and parole. ? What Is Probation? ? Probation, one aspect of community corrections, is ?a sentence served while under supervision in the community.? ? Like other sentencing options, probation is a court-ordered sanction, and its goal is to retain some control over criminal offenders while using community programs to help rehabilitate them. ? What Is Probation? The Extent of Probation ? What Is Probation? Probation Conditions ? Those sentenced to probation must agree to abide by court-mandated conditions of probation, with a violation of conditions possibly leading to probation revocation. ? Conditions are of two types: ? General ? Specific. ? What Is Probation? The Federal Probation System ? The federal probation system, known as the United States Probation and Pretrial Services System, is approximately 80 years old. ? In 1916 in the Killets case,15 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal judges did not have the authority to suspend sentences and to order probation. ? What Is Probation? The Federal Probation System ? After a vigorous campaign by the National Probation Association, Congress passed the National Probation Act in 1925, authorizing the use of probation in federal courts. ? The bill came just in time to save a burgeoning federal prison system from serious overcrowding. ? The prostitution-fighting Mann Act, Prohibition legislation, and the growth of organized crime all led to increased arrests and a dramatic growth in the number of federal probationers in the early years of the system. ? What Is Parole? ? Parole is the supervised early release of inmates from correctional confinement. ? It is a strategy of prisoner reentry into the community from prison that differs from probation in both purpose and implementation. ? States differ as to the type of parole decision-making mechanism they use, as well as the level at which it operates. Two major models prevail: ? Parole boards (state paroling authorities) grant parole based on the board members? judgment and assessment, and their release decisions are termed discretionary parole. ? Statutory decrees produce mandatory release, with release dates usually set near the completion of the inmate?s prison sentence, minus time off for good behavior and other special considerations. ? What Is Parole? ? The Extent of Parole ? Parole Conditions ? Federal Parole ? Probation and Parole: The Pluses and Minuses ? Probation is used to meet the needs of offenders who require some correctional supervision short of imprisonment while providing a reasonable degree of security to the community. ? Parole fulfills a similar purpose for offenders released from prison. ? Advantages of Probation and Parole ? Disadvantages of Probation and Parole ? The Legal Environment ? Eleven especially significant U.S. Supreme Court decisions provide the legal framework for probation and parole supervision. ? Among those cases, that of Griffin v. Wisconsin (1987)30 may be the most significant. ? In Griffin, the Supreme Court ruled that probation officers may conduct searches of a probationer?s residence without either a search warrant or probable cause. ? The Legal Environment ? According to the Court, ?A probationer?s home, like anyone else?s, is protected by the Fourth Amendment?s requirement that searches be ?reasonable.?? ? However, ?*a+ State?s operation of a probation system?presents ?special needs? beyond normal law enforcement that may justify departures from the usual warrant and probable cause requirements.? ? Probation, the Court concluded, is similar to imprisonment because it is a ?form of criminal sanction imposed upon an offender after a determination of guilt.? ? The Job of Probation and Parole Officers Job Descriptions ? Probation or parole work consists primarily of four functions: ? Presentence investigations ? Intake procedures, ? Diagnosis and needs assessment ? Client supervision. ? The Job of Probation and Parole Officers The Challenges of the Job ? One of the biggest challenges that probation and parole officers face is the need to balance two conflicting sets of duties: ? To provide quasi?social work services ? To handle custodial responsibilities ? Intermediate Sanctions ? Split Sentencing ? Shock Probation and Shock Parole ? Shock Incarceration ? Mixed Sentencing and Community Service ? Intensive Probation Supervision ? Home Confinement and Remote Location Monitoring ? Intermediate Sanctions ? The Future of Probation and Parole ? Parole was widely criticized during the 1980s and 1990s by citizen groups who claimed that it unfairly reduces prison sentences imposed on serious offenders, and official attacks on parole came from some powerful corners. ? Senator Edward Kennedy called for the abolition of parole, as did former Attorney General Griffin Bell and former U.S. Bureau of Prisons Director Norman Carlson. ? The Future of Probation and Parole ? Academics chimed in, alleging that parole programs can provide no assurance that criminals will not commit further crimes. ? The media joined the fray, condemning parole for its inability to curb recidivism and highlighting the so-called revolving prison door as representative of the failure of parole. ? The Future of Probation and Parole ? Changes in Reentry Policies ? Reinventing of Probation ? The Future of Probation and Parole ? Summary ? Probation, simply put, is a sentence of imprisonment that is suspended. Its goal is to retain some control over criminal offenders while using community programs to help rehabilitate them. Probation, a court-ordered sanction, is one form of community corrections (also termed community-based corrections), that is, a sentencing style that depends less on traditional confinement options and more on correctional resources available in the community. John Augustus, a Boston shoemaker, is generally recognized as the world?s first probation officer. By 1925, all 48 states had adopted probation legislation. In that same year, the federal government enacted legislation enabling federal district court judges to appoint paid probation officers and to impose probationary terms. ? Summary ? Parole, the conditional early release of a convicted offender from prison, is a corrections strategy whose primary purpose is to return offenders gradually to productive lives. Parole differs from probation in that parolees, unlike probationers, have been incarcerated. Parole supported the concept of indeterminate sentencing, which held that a prisoner could earn early release through good behavior and self-improvement. ? Summary ? Both probation and parole provide opportunities for the reintegration of offenders into the community through the use of resources not readily available in institutional settings. They are far less expensive than imprisonment, lead to increased employment among program participants, make possible restitution payments, and increase opportunities for rehabilitation. Unfortunately, however, increased freedom for criminal offenders also means some degree of increased risk for other members of society and increased social costs. Until and unless we solve the problems of inaccurate risk assessment, increased recidivism, and inadequate supervision, probation and parole will continue to be viewed with suspicion by a public that has become intolerant of crime and criminal offenders. ? Summary ? Ten especially significant U.S. Supreme Court decisions, each of which was discussed in this chapter, provide the legal framework for probation and parole supervision. The 1987 case of Griffin v. Wisconsin may be the most significant. In Griffin, the Supreme Court ruled that probation officers may conduct searches of a probationer?s residence without either a search warrant or probable cause. Other important court decisions include the 1998 case of Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole v. Scott, in which the Court declined to extend the exclusionary rule to apply to searches by parole officers, and the 2001 case of U.S. v. Knights, which expanded the search authority normally reserved for probation and parole officers to police officers under certain circumstances. ? Summary ? Probation or parole work consists primarily of four functions: (1) presentence investigations, (2) other intake procedures, (3) diagnosis and needs assessment, and (4) client supervision. The tasks performed by probation and parole officers are often quite similar, and some jurisdictions combine the roles of both into one job. ? Summary ? Intermediate sanctions, which are sometimes termed alternative sentencing strategies, employ sentencing alternatives that fall somewhere between outright imprisonment and simple probationary release back into the community. These sanctions include shock incarceration, intensive probation supervision, and home confinement with electronic monitoring (also referred to as remote location monitoring). Intermediate sanctions have three distinct advantages: (1) They are less expensive than imprisonment, (2) they are socially cost-effective because they keep the offender in the community, and (3) they provide flexibility in terms of resources, time of involvement, and place of service. ? Summary ? In recent years, parole and sometimes probation have been criticized for increasing the risk of community victimization by known offenders. In response, many states have eliminated or significantly curtailed parole opportunities. The future of parole may lie in an emerging concept of reentry that envisions successfully transitioning released inmates into the community using a variety of resources, including institutional and community programs. The federal Second Chance Act, signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2008, provides an example of new initiatives being undertaken in the reentry arena. RobVox
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