Week Eight Assignment

Parole and Truth-in-Sentencing Paper
Submitted by Travis Hance

Write a 350- to 700-word paper in which you describe the goals and conditions of parole. Include the following components:

The concepts on which parole is based
Parole is a concept of reintegration of the convict into society. It differs

from probation because with parole the convict has been incarcerated. The concept gained popularity in the 19th century to provide incentive for people to behave well. There are two major types of parole, discretionary parole, and mandatory parole. Discretionary parole is based on the recommendations of a parole board, a group of officials who interview the convict and determine whether they should be reintegrated into society. Mandatory parole reintegrates convicts based on the majority of their sentence having been served, with deduction taken for good conduct or other considerations. Reintegration takes place within a structured environment, in which parolees must meet certain conditions, check in with parole officers, and submit to drug testing.

Typical conditions that affect parole

There are a number of conditions that affect parole, both during the time of incarceration, and after release during reentry. With discretionary parole, a typical condition is good conduct during incarceration. After being granted parole, the parolee will sign a form upon which the conditions of parole are based. These can include finding employment within 30 days, paying parole fees, regular contact with parole officers, and remaining within the state. These conditions are designed to provide a loose structure that will prevent the parolee from reverting to criminal behaviors.

Goals of truth-in-sentencing laws
Truth in sentencing is a phrase that represents a number of reforms and

laws, which affect the sentencing process. The goal of such reforms was because of a trend which had developed within the Federal model where convicts were serving on average about a third of their sentence, due to credit for good behavior and other considerations. Truth-in-sentencing reforms moved to make convicts serve the majority of their sentence. Its name comes from its mandate, when a judge passes a sentence, society should be able to assume that the criminal will serve all of it. Before such reforms came into effect, many victims were outraged over the popular practice of sentence reduction.

In summary, when examining the constant issues of prison overcrowding, prison population management, and budget concerns, we see the value of an effective

parole program. Such programs must essentially start from the first day of incarceration, molding the prisoner through education. Skills can be learned to help them become employable upon release. Meeting with prison psychiatrists can help the prisoner confront and overcome negative character traits and habits. Finally, the parolee can face a chance of reentering society. This type of program is vital so that we can reduce the drain of confining people within a prison system supported through local, state, and Federal taxes. Finally, by ensuring accurate sentencing that reflects the crime committed and its severity, we can categorize those offenders who need to be removed from contact with society.