Course: Introduction / Corrections
A parole board is a panel of people that decide whether a prisoner should be released on parole after a minimum sentence has been served.
A parole board is a critical component of the criminal justice system that plays a crucial role in determining whether a prisoner is eligible for early release from prison. The board is responsible for evaluating and assessing prisoners based on a set of predetermined criteria and making a determination as to whether they are suitable for release.
The process of parole involves granting a prisoner conditional release from prison, subject to certain conditions and restrictions. These conditions may include regular check-ins with a parole officer, drug testing, and mandatory participation in rehabilitation or other programs. If a prisoner violates any of these conditions, they can be sent back to prison to serve out the remainder of their sentence.
Parole Board Composition
Parole boards are typically made up of a panel of individuals appointed by the governor or other state officials, who are responsible for reviewing the cases of prisoners who are eligible for parole. These individuals may include lawyers, judges, social workers, and other professionals with expertise in the criminal justice system.
Objectives of Parole Boards
The primary objective of the parole board is to ensure public safety while also promoting the successful rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners back into society. The board considers a wide range of factors when making their decision, including the nature of the offense, the prisoner’s behavior while in prison, their level of remorse and willingness to participate in rehabilitation programs, and their overall level of risk to public safety.
One of the most significant benefits of the parole system is that it provides prisoners with an incentive to behave while in prison and participate in rehabilitation programs. This can help to reduce the likelihood of reoffending once they are released and ultimately promote public safety.
Criticisms of Parole
However, the process of parole is not without its controversies. Critics of the parole system argue that it can be biased and subjective, with decisions often influenced by factors such as race, gender, and socioeconomic status. Additionally, some individuals may be denied parole simply because they do not have access to adequate legal representation or because of their inability to meet the conditions of their release.
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- Proctor, J. L. (1999). The “new parole”: An analysis of parole board decision making as a function of eligibility. Journal of Crime and Justice, 22(2), 193-217.
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Last Modified: 07/14/2023