Resource: J O'meara, Gregory. (2010) article in this week’s Electronic Reserve Readings Write and 1,050- to 1,400-word paper that summarizes the
arguments for and against confining sick and older adult prisoners in jail. Which of these arguments do they think have merit?
What values underlie each position?
How does medical parole or release fit into this discussion? Provide alternative solutions to the problem and discuss their overall impacts.
Parole for the elderly
Parole for the elderly
The idea of sympathetic release of ill and elderly prisoners is not new. In 1994, Professor Russell published consideration of medical parole and compassionate release programs of district and fifty states of Columbia. Only three authorities, the District of Kansas, Maine and Columbia had no programs for the release of fatally ill prisoners. Russell observed that twenty-two states informed that they have no sympathetic release program but they have at least one way by which fatally ill inmate can seek release. These methods were:
General claim for the Executive kindness
Commutation of the sentence through administrative procedures of DOC with no specific condition relating to terminally ill. •
Normal parole application actions, where prisoner’s medical condition is one factor that to be considered in ordinary parole judgment. Therefore, twenty years back, states acknowledged the need for this security valve still without providing precise legislative basis for it. Prof Russell sustained that compassionate release laws address concerns of the both states and the inmates extreme better than to perform more general compassion petitions or administrative procedures. Current parole policies can be described as penal populism. In my view, the following arguments may have merit: 1)
Extensive increase in police inspection and arrests.
Elimination of treatment as correctional goal.
Exceptional expansion of prison population.
In addition to common criminological concerns, this paper proposes that word compassionate need to do serious illegal use if this law is to make difference in lives of prisoners. Since so much of jail life happens far from the public’s view, changes in implications and policy of long assumed truisms are infrequently observed by those that are not openly affected by penal system. One good point of Wisconsin’s reconsideration is recent changes in sympathetic release standards for prisoners in state correctional facilities. This legislation streamlines the procedure and expands the category of those eligible for sentence modification and. Although the law has much to recommend it, issues unaddressed may prove costly—notably the unintended consequences of placing financial burdens on the families or communities to which these prisoners are released in a bleak economic climate. By way of background, Wisconsin’s current sentencing structure is relatively new; it was overhauled between 1998 and 2003 under the provisions of the state’s Truth In Sentencing legislation. Under that law, parole was abolished; felons sentenced to prison are now given a bifurcated (two-part) sentence in which the sentencing judge specifies an amount of time a convicted felon will serve in prison and an amount of time the person will serve in the community on extended supervision. Under The original provisions of Truth in Sentencing, most inmates, with approval of the program review committee at their respective institutions, could petition the sentencing court for release to extended supervision in certain extenuating circumstances. However, inmates serving life sentences were not eligible to petition. Eligible inmates included both the elderly and the gravely ill. With regard to the elderly, the program review committee at the housing institution could consider petitions filed by prisoners either 60 or 65 years old who had served substantial portions of their sentences. In addition to these petitions,...
References: J O’Meara, Gregory. (2010). Compassion and the public interest: Wisconsin 's new compassionate release legislation. Federal Sentencing Reporter, 23(1), 33-38. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/fsr.2010.23.1.33
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