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The Pros & Cons of Probation & Parole

Comp II
by

Amity Mathews

on 27 November 2012

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Transcript of The Pros & Cons of Probation & Parole

By: Amity Mathews, Cindy Flores, Jason Revuelto, & Sidney Johnson The Pros & Cons of Probation & Parole Probation: Pros Probation can be very cost efficient. In 2010, Larry J. Siegal wrote a report stating that the U.S. spends about $25,000 dollars meanwhile probation only spends $2,000. The government saves $23,000 dollars by keeping inmates out of prison and also keeping the prison from overcrowding. Dangerous criminals should be kept in prison instead of being let out and keeping minor offenders in. Probation helps offenders recover by allowing them to enter society with a different mindset.Being on probation helps them by allowing them to do such things as preserve employment, gain support and help from their loved ones and once again become a productive citizen. That can't be done in jail. Most prisoners have drug addictions. Keeping them in doesn’t give them the help that they should be receiving. The offender being out and put on probation allows him to recover himself by taking part in a rehabilitation center. Probation: Cons There is the issue of community safety. Many offenders present a risk to community safety, even if it's because the person persists in the risky behaviors associated with alcohol or drug abuse. Letting any offender free poses somewhat of a risk, however slight. The courts, judges, defense and prosecuting attorneys and probation personnel weigh these risks and balance them with the best interests of the probationer and victim. Usually, probation personnel monitor high-risk offenders closely through home arrest or electronic monitoring. Then there is the problem of victim concerns. Victims vary widely as to their perspective and feelings regarding probation for their offenders. In some cases, they may quickly forgive the individual and even build a relationship with them. In other situations, they may petition the courts for harsh penalties. Probation allows the courts to monitor the defendant's activities in the community while he works and repays any restitution that he owes his victims. Some victims, however, may care more about his punishment than reimbursement. Parole is used for several reasons. It is less expensive to supervise a parolee than to incarcerate a prisoner. Parole helps to control institutional crowding. A person on parole has an opportunity to contribute to society. It is also believed that prisoners behave better when they are working toward parole. At the same time, society still receives some protection because the parolee is supervised and can be violated for the most minor of transgressions. Parole is also a method of rehabilitation, because it gives offenders supervision and guidance during their reentry into society. However, growing caseloads for parole officers are large, and they can't provide the supervision their parolees need. The best parole supervision can't keep a parolee from committing another crime. Decision to parole is inexact; the more deserving may be denied parole, and the less deserving may be given it. This poses a great risk of offenders becoming recidivists. If an offender has trouble coping being among the community this is taking a chance of them hurting someone. Many offenders need minimal rehabilitation in order to become productive members of society. Completing substance abuse treatment or community service hours can motivate offenders toward compliance with probation requirements. They can stay in the community, maintain family ties and work to contribute to their family. If these same offenders are sent to prison, they might become hardened and learn further criminal behavior, when they could have just as easily remained supervised in society. Probation personnel can further monitor compliance with court terms and conditions. One of the primary reasons that traditional probation hasn’t been successful in rehabilitating offenders is much too often probationers are completely unsupervised. An offender on probation could simply fill out a one page report of their work activities and submit this to their probation officer by mail. There is no direct supervision of offenders. Offenders that are apart of traditional probation programs have a recidivism rate of 65%. That means only 35% of probationers don’t commit new offenses. Offenders are accommodated into halfway houses. This is where offenders have to follow strict rules like curfew. Counsellors and psychiatrists are on call 24 hours a day to help clients with adjusting to outside life and coping with problems if they occur. PO’s have a large number of offenders and they have difficulty time supervising them closely. This is because there’s not enough PO’s to supervise offenders properly. PO’s have offenders mail in a form weekly or monthly. There’s a check list that a offenders has to follow and answer, employment and any law infractions. Parole: Pros Parole: Cons Our Stance We are on the pro side of both probation and parole, as we believe they can be greatly beneficial to both the community and the offenders with whom are placed in these programs. Granted, not all cases are successes, but we believe that the criminal justice system would be a far worse place without probation and parole. References Demand Media. (1999-2012). Intensive Probation Pros and Cons. Retrieved October 30, 2012, from eHow: http://www.ehow.com/facts_5474812_intensive-probation-pros-cons.html
Pros & Cons to Probation. Retrieved October 30, 2012 from eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/info_8137584_pros-cons-probation.html#ixzz2BV8ZT0rA
Champion, D.J. (2008). Probation, Parole and Community Corrections, 6th Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ. Prentice Hall. Pp. 76, 180-182, 208-209 One problem with probation is the pervasive fragmentation of services that exist for probationers under some kind of PO’s supervision. Many offenders slip through the cracks of the criminal justice system with minimum participation in treatment, education, vocational and counseling programs. Monitoring all offenders equally is very difficult and impossible because of the high volume case loads PO’s have. PO’s don’t have enough time to follow up on each offender’s attendance of referred treatment and service classes.
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