Effectiveness of Probation

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The broad problem area that I intend to research is the department of probation, pardon, and parole and its effectiveness of keeping defendants out of prison. This department is like a “risk management” type program for first-time and minor offenders. It serves the purpose of reducing the number of prisoners in our already overcrowded prison systems. In a sense, it is like a slap on the wrist for many criminals to give them a second chance to learn from their mistakes. It also rehabilitates recently released prisoners in order to rejoin the public and to minimize the probability of offenders committing new offenses. This topic is of interest to me because I intend to pursue a career with the South Carolina Department of Probation, Pardon, and Parole upon the completion of my college education and I am concerned about the effectiveness of this agency’s work. I would not want my career of choice to be a waste of time for either myself or for the individuals that I would come into contact with as a result of my job title.

The effectiveness of probation, pardon, and parole is in the mainstream of my field study. There is a large amount of literature available on this subject. It is timely, in that the idea of pardons and putting people on probation dates all the way back to the 1800’s in America, and further in countries such as England.

The knowledge variables are the programs available to probationers, the number of defendants on probation, the number of probation violations and revokes, and the number of successful completions of the sentences. If the independent variable is the number of defendants actually being put on probation, the dependent variable would be the revoke or the successful completion of their sentence.

The opinion and feeling variables are recently released prisoner’s fear of reintegration, the public’s fear of criminals not being locked away in prison, probation officers’ idea of which violations constitute the revoke of...
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