Probation and Parole Program

About your Policy Paper – PROBATION & PAROLE
Each student is assigned a Corrections or Correctionsrelated program or policy to research.
Your Policy Paper should include:
(1) A description of the program or policy.
(2) The scope of the problem that the program or
policy is trying to address. (i.e., how large or widespread or
impactful or influential is the problem?)
(3) The history of the program or policy (i.e., information
about its origin, as well as the context/surrounding circumstances within
which or for which the program or policy was created at the time).
(4) The purposes or goals of the program or policy.
(5) The targeted population (i.e., to whom is the program or policy
directed?).
(6) Program or policy activities or elements (i.e., what’s
involved in the program or policy?).
(7) Summarize any studies or evidence of the
effectiveness of the program or policy.
Revised 3/1/17 – Research Paper Points Checklist (Students
are free to forward questions or concerns to the instructor about this checklist and/
or in general, their research paper, however all such questions or concerns must be
forwarded at least two weeks prior to the research paper deadline.)
(1) No Cover Page [Title of Paper (2pts),
Student’s Name (2pts), Class & Semester (1pt)] = – 1 – -5 pts
(2) No Table of Contents (or poor table of contents) = – 1 – -5 pts
(3) No Introduction [or poor introduction: Poor grammar, not coherent (not
clear or logical, not meaningful)] = – 1 – -5 pts
(4) No Body (or weak substance/content) [Poor grammar, not coherent, and/or
does not address stipulated and/or assigned issues] = – 1 – -10 pts
[Please note that this section is “not” to be entitled ‘Body’, and the
student must title the section(s) based on what they are covering or
including.]
(5) No Conclusion [or poor conclusion: Poor grammar, not coherent (not clear
or logical, not meaningful)] = – 1 – -5 pts
(6) Sentences/statements that do not begin with a capital letter = -3 pts
each
(7) Sentences/statements that do not end appropriately with a period,
question mark, or exclamation point = -3 pts each
(8) Misspellings/Typos = -1 pt each
(9) Page requirement = -3 pts per page less than the required number of 8
full pages
(10) No Bibliography/List of Sources (or poor: Need at least three sources) = –
1 – -5 pts

Probation and Parole Program
Introduction
The probation & parole program is an alternative action to incarceration. Probation occurs before or after the jail time while the parole explains the early release from the prison systems. In both the probation and parole programs, the parties are supervised and required to implement specific rules and guidelines. These specifications were useful conditions of parole. After the defendants obtain probation, they get an opportunity reform themselves. The probation& parole program has been useful to promote crime rate reductions. For example, the adoption of the electronic monitoring initiative is useful in maintaining close and consistent supervision on the behavior of the offenders (Gleicher, Manchak, & Cullen, 2013). The key goal is to deal with the scope of the mass incarceration in the United States which has proved costly for the federal and state governments. Probation program advocates for a community-based approach to reducing costs of prison systems in the U.S. However, certain organizations and persons criticize the success and efficiency of the probation and parole program in the society. The probation & parole program is an effective crime reduction program that focuses on individualized efforts to bring about positive behavioral change among the offenders.
Description of the Program
Even though probation and parole are seen to serve same roles in community corrections and promoting supervision, they are different in composition. Probation defines the sentencing option presented to the local judges. Convicted offenders are usually released from incarceration by the courts to serve their imprisonment period under certain conditions. It is also described as an alternative option to normal incarceration in jail. In most situations, the probation sentence is usually served under community supervision, when offenders are first offenders and proves to have good behavior (Jonson, & Cullen, 2015). However, the court still retains the power and authority to change conditions, eliminate the probation, and the resentencing of the probation terms. Both local and state agencies are responsible for the overseeing of the probation process.

On the other hand, parole can be described as the release of inmates from correctional facilities before their sentencing period ends because of good behavior. The parole board has the authority to listen to the progress of the offenders before deciding on whether to revoke or discharge the offenders from parole. In spite of all, the implementation of probation and parole policy is useful in improving the management of inmates and inspiring behavioral change in the society (Gleicher, et al., 2013). The U.S spends a large budget in the management of the criminal justice systems. The policy would help in reducing the costs of incarceration and funding given to the correctional facilities. The investment in probation and parole services is effective and efficient as it would reduce the costs of keeping inmates in the jails.
Scope of the Problem
Jonson and Cullen (2015) notes that more than five million offenders are usually placed under strict supervision within the U.S criminal justice systems. Among these offenders, 1.6million were incarcerated in the different institutions. The remaining percentage, estimated 70% are placed under the responsibility of the probation department under close supervision. Based on the statistics, it determines that at any moment a larger population of the U.S population is under probation and parole observations. The probation and parole policy is useful in tackling the huge problem of mass incarceration in the U.S. Minority groups have been advocating for comprehensive criminal justice reforms to reduce the level of incarceration in the U.S prison systems. In the 1980s, Wodahl, Boman, and Garland (2015) recorded that the number of incarcerated persons in the U.S had risen by 400%, a rise attributable to stricter war on crimes and harsh criminal system.
Currently, U.S has the highest number of incarcerated persons compared to other major nations including Mexico, China, and Western Europe. To tackle the problem of mass incarceration, the probation and parole policy and system offered a good alternative. Probation and parole reduce the costs of expenditures in the prison systems. The benefits of the practice of mass incarceration are minimal. Even though the crime rates have declined from the 1980s, Jonson and Cullen (2015) note that the relationship between the increased incarceration rates and lower crimes is small. In the recent times, the U.S law enforcement agencies including the U.S Sentencing Commission proposed the significance of expanding the scope of lighter sentencing programs to drug crime offenders. The efforts would help in reducing the level of mass incarceration. Based on the scope of the mass incarceration in the U.S, the Federal and state governments should expand the implementation of the probation and parole policy which provides an alternative punishment action to the prison sentencing actions in the U.S.

History of the Program
The history of the probation and parole programs dates back in the Middle Ages, as first prescribed by the English Criminal legal frameworks. Harsh punishments were prescribed to persons involved in offenses in the society. Some of the key sentences were mutilation, flogging, and execution. In the reign of King Henry VII, over 200 criminal offenses were punished by death including minor offenses (Wodahl, et al., 2015). The harshness of the actions created a discontent in progressive groups in the English society who fought for an evolution of the justice system.
To reduce the inhumane punishments, diverse measures were established and implemented. For example, pardons could be awarded to offenders, and stolen items could be devalued to charge the offenders with lesser crimes. Methods including judicial reprieve and clergy benefits were useful in protecting the offenders from harsh punishments and sentences. In the U.S, specifically in Massachusetts, diverse programs were created. For example, security was guaranteed for persons who behaved in a good manner. Legal filing was also useful in instances that did not require immediate sentences. Under the criminal procedure, criminal indictments were held in abeyance (Gleicher, Manchak, & Cullen, 2013). To counter the unreasonable compulsory actions, the court judges grants a proper motion to implement proper actions. Even though the American practices were related to the probation programs, the early implementation of the sentence is related to the modern probation.
In the modern probation and parole systems, John Augustus was responsible for the creation of the probation program. The first probation officer in Massachusetts, Augustus was able to convince alcohol abusers to abstain from alcohol. He convinced the community to believe that alcohol abusers could be reformed through kindness, consistent moral actions rather than convictions and jail sentencing. Augustus had started his career as volunteer probation personnel. He is credited with the creation of the investigation programs and procedures. The key elements of the modern probation programs were investigation programs, intake of the offenders, and proper supervision.

By the year 1858, Augustus had given bail to around 1900 men and women. The first probation legislation was passed in 1859. The first statute was useful in expanding the practice of probation in the U.S. The juvenile court movement was significant in the expansion of the probation efforts as a legally recognized approach of handling offenders. The historical juvenile court was created in Chicago with formal intake process (Gleicher, et al., 2013). Later, more than 20 states introduced the probation approach as a part of their juvenile court program. In modern society, all U.S states have both adult and juvenile comprehensive probation and parole procedures. For example, in New York, the probation procedure was introduced in 1907 with a locally administered program on the probation process.
Goals of the Policy
The probation & parole policy has various goals that include enhancing public safety through positive influence over the offenders to help them in living crime-free and social lives in the society. The policy is implemented through community corrections unit, which administers key activities and is always committed to balanced process on offender supervision. The transformation of the offenders requires that that probation officer conducts a comprehensive investigation, assessment of then potential risks, the focused plans of proper supervision, the adoption of wide models of treatment programs as well as the application of sanctions to deal with non-compliance. Probation & Parole is also strategic in improving behavior change.

The focus of the probation and parole program is shaped by the changing theoretical models in the community. Initially, the rehabilitation goal was important. The program seeks to reform the offenders within the prison systems through effective penal policies and actions (Wodahl, et al., 2015). The rehabilitation program under the policy was keen to individualize the criminal justice programs. The probation officers would be able to determine the problems facing the specific offenders and recommend actions to punish them. In the 1960s, the probation and parole were focused on rehabilitation of the offenders.
In addition, the probation and parole units have an ultimate goal to release deserving inmates to the community. The parole board will determine whether the inmates fulfill their terms of their sentencing to be reduced. In most states, after a parole board allows for parole, the supervisory role is given to the probation officers managed by the correction department (Gleicher, Manchak, & Cullen, 2013). Granting parole is not a responsibility, but a goal of the probation and parole program to all inmates with good behavior and commitment to reform.
The Targeted Population
The program is targeting both adult and teenage offenders. The teenage offenders are persons ranging from 7 to 19 years. The program would review the effectiveness of the probation and parole efforts relating to the teenage offenders. Adult offenders responsible for the various crimes would also be targeted by the program (Vidal, & Woolard, 2016). The offenders might have engaged in the various offenses including theft, drug offenses, vandalism, assault, violent, traffic, and other offenses. The target population is important in the designing the scope and role of the probation and parole program.
Program Activities
The probation and parole program operates the various activities critical to fostering positive behavioral change among the offenders. The positive behavioral change seeks to lower the victims, create safer communities, and improve the lives of the people in the society. Significant activity in the program is the coordination with the courts to determine the offenders who need some community supervision and corrections (Wooditch, et al., 2016). The probation programs are run parallel to the court proceedings to ensure that proper review is done on the offenders. The probation officers are expected to comply with all court decisions and orders relating to the offenders. However, their input and recommendations are critical in the sentencing process.

Conducting investigations and gathering of intelligence is also an important activity in the program. The probation supervision offenders are required to conduct an investigation on the offenders before the probation process. Such an action makes it possible for the supervision officers to monitor the offenders easily. The probation offenders can conduct the investigation and gather intelligence through interviews, getting records as well as making frequent contacts. Today, it is easy to investigate offenders due to the presence of social media, which offers adequate information to visualize the character of the offenders in the community.

After the conduction of the investigation, the probation units are responsible for making the decision on whether to grant probation to certain individuals in the prison system. All offenders might not be incarcerated in the prison systems. The probation officers will conduct risks analysis of the offenders and make recommendations on the appropriate sentencing and actions to the courts. The investigation process is done from the pretrial period through an in-depth review of their background to help in determining whether the defendants could be safely realized on bail.
Other important programs and activities in the probation period are community service, drug and mental control, electronic monitoring aspects, prisoner re-entry programs and sex offender containment. For example, the implementing of the electronic monitoring initiative is useful in maintaining close and consistent supervision on the behavior of the offenders. Such a program has helped to reduce the level of recidivism among the offenders.
Evidence of the Effectiveness of the Program
Critics of the probation and parole policy have questioned its effectiveness in reducing crime rates and promoting public safety in the United States. According to Shannon et al. (2015), the recidivism rates for persons on probation and parole remains very high. Statistics presented by Shannon et al. (2015) shows that 43 percent of felony probationers and around 60% of the paroles were likely to be rearrested in three years after starting the probation and parole program. The concerns are always whether the probation and parole program is useful in reducing the crime activities in the society because parolees commit crimes. Numerous research studies evaluating the effectiveness of the probation and parole program examines the effectiveness of the increased conditions of supervision such as the effectiveness of the diverse types of control. The research studies determined that increased control did not reduce the crime rates. Unlikely, persons subjected to high controls had a higher level of violations.

However, other studies including by Wooditch et al. (2016) gives positive signs and results. The research determined that combined treatment of the parolees and surveillance programs in the program was useful. Offenders who were subjected to continuous supervision and increased treatment had low recidivism rates. Another positive outcome from the program is that offenders supported the probation and parole program. A self-report research done by Kaeble, Maruschak, and Bonczar (2015) recorded that most offenders were unlikely to engage in crimes if subjected to proper supervision by the probation officers. The research concluded that the probation program was useful in lowering the crime rates among the offenders.
In addition, the study also determined that no evidence that knowledge of misbehavior and the increase in the degree of conditions had a direct impact on the criminal activities in the society. Even though probation looks effective in lowering criminal violations, only little efforts were made during the probation process to lower the crime rates (Kaeble, et al., 2015). The outcomes of the combined studies indicate encouraging results that probation and parole program is valuable in crime reduction in the community.
Conclusion
In summary, the probation & parole program is useful in fostering positive behavioral changes among the offenders. Both adults and teenage offenders are targeted by the program to enhance reform in the society. The probation and parole programs offer a better alternative to prison sentences. Probation and parole reduce the costs of expenditures in the prison systems. However, the benefits of the practice of mass incarceration are minimal. The program seeks to reform the offenders within the prison systems through effective penal policies and actions. The rehabilitation program under the policy was keen to individualize the criminal justice programs. The probation officers would be able to determine the problems facing the specific offenders and recommend actions to punish them. The implementing of the electronic monitoring initiative is useful in maintaining close and consistent supervision on the behavior of the offenders. In spite of all concerns, the probation and parole program offers a positive outlook towards reducing crime rates in the society.

References
Gleicher, L., Manchak, S. M., & Cullen, F. T. (2013). Creating a supervision tool kit: How to improve probation and parole. Fed. Probation, 77, 22.
Jonson, C. L., & Cullen, F. T. (2015). Prisoner reentry programs. Crime and justice, 44(1), 517-575.
Kaeble, D., Maruschak, L. M., & Bonczar, T. P. (2015). Probation and parole in the United States, 2014. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), US Department of Justice, and Office of Justice Programs.
Shannon, L. M., Hulbig, S. K., Birdwhistell, S., Newell, J., & Neal, C. (2015). Implementation of an enhanced probation program: Evaluating process and preliminary outcomes. Evaluation and program planning, 49, 50-62.
Shannon, L. M., Hulbig, S. K., Birdwhistell, S., Newell, J., & Neal, C. (2015). Implementation of an enhanced probation program: Evaluating process and preliminary outcomes. Evaluation and program planning, 49, 50-62.
Vidal, S., & Woolard, J. (2016). Parents’ perceptions of juvenile probation: Relationship and interaction with juvenile probation officers, parent strategies, and youth’s compliance on probation. Children and Youth Services Review, 66, 1-8.
Wodahl, E. J., Boman, J. H., & Garland, B. E. (2015). Responding to probation and parole violations: Are jail sanctions more effective than community-based graduated sanctions?. Journal of Criminal Justice, 43(3), 242-250.
Wooditch, A., Duhaime, L., & Meyer, K. (2016). Street-Level Discretion and Organizational Effectiveness in Probation Services. Fed. Probation, 80, 39.