The criminal justice system adopted the policy of community supervision in the form of parole and probation as an alternative to mass incarnation. The purpose of granting parole and probation was to allow rehabilitation to the offenders against mass imprisonment. Parole emerged as an alternative to incarnation permitting conditional release to the offenders. All states in the United States implemented parole system until 1977. The primary incentive for parole and probation was to control growing prison population. Policy reforms through community supervision intended to reduce disproportionately high rates of incarnation in America. Community supervision is an alternative to imprisonment as the rates of revocations reported by the state are 17 percent. No state in America mentions revocation at high rates depicting effectiveness of the policy. Parole and probation focus on offender’s re-entry into the community and taking life as a law-abiding citizen. The policy emphasized on controlling recidivism and disengaging offenders from different crimes (Kaeble & Bonczar, 2017).
Background of the policy
Imposition of community supervision was imposed massively between 1977 to 2010 when the prison population increased by 300,000 offenders. Estimated prison population during the period was 1.5 million people. Financial and social costs of the incarnation were high that motivated policymakers to propose an alternative solution. The repercussions of mass incarnations were high as it deteriorates offender’s life. Americans for minor crimes used to serve many years in jails that influenced their employment, career and future lives. Inability to vote and disengagement from civil life were other consequences of incarnations. The financial crisis of 2008 was another factor promoting adoption of community supervision as an alternative to incarnations. The federal budget of the country declined due to the crisis while the costs of operating correctional facilities became unbearable. The policymakers exhibited their concerns for minimizing costs associated with the criminal procedures and prisons. People availing community supervision increased enormously during 2010 with reported 4,000,000 people under probation and 841,000 on paroles (Klingele, 2013).
Development of policy
The Supreme Court presented probation as an alternative to sentencing in 1916. Policymakers concluded that the costs of incarnation on a single offender were fifteen times higher than community supervision. Prison Act 1925 gave the power of sentence suspension to the courts. The reformers also supported the policy for providing rehabilitative facilities to the offenders. In jails the chances of re-entering the community and living a civilian life become rare. Under probation and parole, the offender can overcome criminal activities and start a noble life. The state recognized that incarnation ruins the lives of offenders that were unfair according to the policymakers. To overcome the issues and drawbacks of the incarnation system community supervision was developed as an alternative solution to its predecessor (Minn, 2009). The approach that expansion of community supervision will mitigate issues of over incarnation played a key role in the development of the policy.
The criminal justice system recognized probation and parole as the best alternatives to limit prison populations. The justice system imposes probation as a lieu of imprisonment and probations as a conditional release. During the period the offender has to prove a change in his attitude and disengagement from any offenses. The conditions released individual follows the conditions imposed by the state for retaining liberty and freedom. Failure of the offender to comply with the conditions leads to termination of community supervision and future imprisonment. An individual under probation is liable to report to the probation officer regularly, attend work, classes and rehabilitative programs. The purpose of probation is to promote rehabilitation in the offender. The probations legislation was approved by the federal government in 1925 and became extremely popular during the 1980s. The rate of probations increased by 60% in 2001 (Klingele, 2013). Initially, the officer under Attorney General had the power of deciding conditional release. The control was then passed to superintendents who were in charge of the prison. Federal probation officers were responsible for making an inquiry on the performance of offenders under the specified period. The system of probation was transferred from Federal Bureau to the administrative courts of America in 1940 (US courts, 2018).
Board of Parole was developed in 1930 initially controlled by the Attorney general. Several changes occurred during the history of parole. In 1950 the Department of Justice was responsible for taking the administrative role. During the same period, Youth Corrections Act aimed at providing rehabilitative opportunities to the young people. In 1972 the justice department provided a comprehensive guideline for the officers and the offenders with the goal of minimizing revocations and recidivism. Parole Commission and Reorganization Act 1976 established an independent agency for managing parole activities efficiently. The detailed guidelines were revised under the Comprehensive Crime Control Act 1984. The purpose of the guidelines was to assess the offenders that need parole facility. The approach was more appropriate for the offenders involved in non-violent crimes (Klingele, 2013).
Factors contributing to policy development
The primary factor that contributed to the development of parole and probation policy was to control high volume of imprisonments as the state faced financial costs. The years spent in jails affected the lives and careers of youth as many teenagers, and young people served entire youth there. The facts also revealed that over 70 percent of the criminals in jails committed non-violent offenses. The justice department found it unfair to keep the offenders in prisons for minor crimes. Racial bias was another factor motivating the justice system to adopt community supervision as an alternative to sentencing. Democrats claimed that people belonging to minorities serve more years in jails for felony, theft or substance abuse. Sentencing Reform Act 1984 supported the parole system in America (Minn, 2009).
The evidence also revealed that the people in jails are more likely to choose criminal lifestyles. Jails do not provide rehabilitation, education or treatment programs that eliminated their possibilities of becoming good citizens. To encourage positive behaviors among young offenders the criminal justice system supported community supervision. The system believed that the supervisory services such as education, rehabilitative programs, treatments against substance abuse and employment improve the behaviors of offenders (Kaeble & Bonczar, 2017). The criminal justice system’s belief that adult probation declines recidivism rates also promoted community supervision. Other factors leading to the development of parole policy and its adoption as an alternative to incarnation involve allowing community re-entry to the offenders, reconnecting with family and children and giving up criminal life (Klingele, 2013).
Importance of developing alternative
Developing parole and probation as an alternative to mass incarnation was essential for preventing recidivism and destruction of entire youth. The policy is important to change the offensive attitudes of the criminals and provide the opportunity for living a better life. It is also vital for managing the federal budget as the cost of keeping offenders in jails is high that doubles after 55 years of age. Evidence supports the parole and probation policy and identifies it as an effective strategy for controlling crimes. Only 17 percent of offenders return to jails after availing parole and probation. While less than 5 percent offenders re-enter prisons for violent crimes (Kaeble & Bonczar, 2017). Developing policy as an alternative is also crucial as it provides rehabilitation to the youth, allowing them to build positive behaviors and give up crimes. Compared to incarnation, community supervision is more practical for controlling crimes.
Kaeble, D., & Bonczar, T. P. (2017). Probation and Parole in the United States, 2015. U.S. Department of Justice.
Klingele, C. (2013). Rethinking the Use of Community Supervision. J. Crim. L. & Criminology, 1015.
Minn. (2009). REVIEW OF GUIDELINES FOR REVOCATION OF PAROLE AND SUPERVISED RELEASE: 2009 REPORT TO THE MINNESOTA LEGISLATURE. MINN. DEP’T OF CORR.
US courts. (2018). Probation and Pretrial Services History. Retrieved Feb 12, 2018, from http://www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/probation-and-pretrial-services/probation-and-pretrial-services-history