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Probation and Parole Research Papers

Probation and parole term papers examine their role in the criminal justice system. The criminal justice system in the United States is the process whereby individuals are convicted and punished for breaking the law.  There are many stages in this system for administering justice, as shown in Probation and Parole Research Papers. After the conviction of an offender in the criminal courts, he or she enters the correctional system.  This may consist of many avenues, including fines.

  1. For many offenders, their only punishment involves being placed in a program referred to as probation. 
  2. Other offenders are incarcerated in some type of facility such as a prison or country jail. 
  3. Some offenders are selected to participate in probation and parole programs. 

The purpose of a Probation and Parole Research Paper is to discuss probation and parole, their value, and the current research regarding their effectiveness with regard to deterring crime.

When offenders are determined or judged to be guilty in a court of law, they may receive one of two basic types of punishments. They may either be incarcerated in a prison setting or they may receive probation. Thus, probation may be granted at the discretion of a judge or on the basis of statutes that have been enacted.

There are many advantages to using probation rather than incarceration as a correctional method or punishment. Probation allows the offender to remain within society in a productive way. The individual’s behavior is under close scrutiny in order to ensure that no further crimes are committed, while he or she maintains family support.  If the individual violates the conditions of his or her probationary requirements, then he or she may be sent to prison to complete the original terms of sentencing. 

Unfortunately, parole has not proven to be as effective as probation with regard to recidivism (Siegel 605).  One of the difficulties is that many times when prisons are overcrowded inmates may be paroled.  Not because they are ready to be released or because they have completed the appropriate time with good behavior, but simply because there are too many people incarcerated in a prison facility.  These individuals are less likely to complete parole successfully.

However, it may be difficult to actually compare parolees with probationers.  Typically, individuals who receive probation have committed their first offense and generally have good employment records.  Parolees, especially those who are sent back to prison have an extensive history of criminal arrests and poor employment history.  Thus, the individuals who are on parole have more extensive criminal backgrounds than individuals who receive probation.  Sometimes these parole violators commit serious crimes.  However, overall, those who are absconders from parole are generally “less dangerous and less risky parolees”. In summary, probation and parole have many similarities and differences.  Both are granted to an offender as an alternative to prison confinement.  However, probation is instead of confinement while parole is at the end of confinement within a prison facility.  It is difficult to determine if a particular offender is a good candidate for probation or parole.  But in both instances, individuals with good family support systems in place and good employment records are more likely to complete these types of punishment without becoming recidivists.  Individuals with extensive criminal records are not likely to complete either probation or parole successfully.  It should be noted that a comparison of probationers and parolees is difficult because convicted offenders who receive probation generally have different backgrounds than do individuals who go to prison and then receive parole.

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