September 15, 2014
One objective in the criminal justice system is to rehabilitate offenders. In this paper, I will describe what rehabilitation is in prison, as well as provide the origin of rehabilitation. Next I will give a definition of parole and how it is different from mandatory release. I will also be giving a definition of probation and how probation compares to other forms of sentencing. This paper will also provide a definition as well as the options of community corrections. Lastly, I will critique the current rehabilitation and give my opinion on a better solution to the current parole process, the current probation system, and the current community corrections options.
Rehabilitation Definition and Origin
Rehabilitation according to the dictionary, nd, means; “to help (a person who has acquired a disability or addiction or who has just been released from prison) to readapt to society or a new job, as by vocational guidance, retraining, or therapy.” The purpose of rehabilitation in a prison environment is to help an offender admit they have a problem. Once a prisoner admits to having a problem they then can accept the help offered to them, begin to reform from committing more crimes and live normal lives without any criminal activities once they have been released from prison. In the 18th century rehabilitation was introduced to the prison systems, with the passing of the Penitentiary Act. The Penitentiary Act sought the rehabilitation of offenders in all prisons. Although the central form of punishment in the criminal justice system in today’s society is imprisonment, more emphasis is placed on rehabilitating the offender to reduce the rate of recidivism.
Parole v. Mandatory Release
Parole can only be granted to those who have served a minimum amount of time in prison. When a prisoner becomes eligible for parole he or she will go in front of a parole board who will discuss their crime, examine their behavior while incarcerated and review if they had completed any treatment or classes they were ordered to take. The parole board will either grant or deny a prisoners parole. When an offender is released on parole, he or she must comply with all of the conditions that the parole board has set in place. If the parolee does not comply he or she could have their parole revoked and be returned to prison. There are a few differences between parole and mandatory release. When a prisoner is released on parole they are still under supervision until they reach the amount of time they were ordered to serve. A prisoner who is mandatory released has served their required amount of time. However, a prisoner can be released early due to good behavior and receiving good time credits. When this happens the prisoner will still be under supervision until he or she reaches the amount of time they were sentenced to, however, their supervision is not as strict as those on parole.
Probation Compared to Other Forms of Sentencing
Probation according to the dictionary, nd, “a method of dealing with offenders, especially young persons guilty of minor crimes or first offenses, by allowing them to go at large under supervision of a probation officer.” Probation is usually a jail term that is suspended, and a conditional freedom is granted to the offender. An offender who is on probation must comply with the guidelines that the courts and probation officer has put in place. If the offender violates any of the terms he or she can have their probation revoked and be sent to jail for the time that was suspended. Probation allows for more freedom when compared to being sentenced to jail or prison. Some feel that probation is still a form of incarceration since the offender still loses some of their liberties. An offender who is on probation is able to keep their ties to the community, able to work and able to get the help they may need when it comes...
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