CROSS-NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE: Parole Officers in Canada
This paper discusses the functions of Canadian Parole Officers and compares the similarities of job duties and functions of the Canadian Parole Officers and the United States Parole Officers. This paper further discusses the parole considerations in Canada and whether it models a more punitive or reintegrative model.
In comparison to the United States Parole Officer, the Canadian Parole Officer must initially have a formal post-secondary education such as a college degree. Both U.S. And Canadian Parole Officers make recommendations regarding the initial placement of an offenders, supervise offenders who have been released on parole, and offer guidance and direction to parolees in dealing with job related and personal problems. Another common function that Parole Officers share in both countries are preparing pre-sentence reports as requested by the court which describe the convicted offender's personal and social life, and make recommendations for sentencing including conditions which may be imposed by a court order. The conditions under which both U.S. and Canadian Parole officers work under are quite similar. Parole officers in both countries work in offices and courthouses, and visit offenders' homes and workplaces. Both also sometimes work long hours, including evenings and weekends, to interview offenders and their associates
Based on my reading, the Canadian Parole system seems to be geared more towards a reintegrative model rather than punitive. The U.S. parole system is more punitive. The parole system of Canada seems to take more of a social role with offenders while the actual Canadian parole officers play more of a role as a social worker by being more active in the lives of their offenders . I think this would be primarily due to the case load between both the U.S. and Canada.
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