Probation and Parole

Probation and parole are both a part of correctional treatment in the criminal justice system. Probation is decided upon during the sentencing phase of the court system, and it replaces incarceration by requiring that the offender follows certain rules while under the supervision of a probation officer for a predetermined length of time. This allows the person that is convicted of a crime to remain in the community while being rehabilitated, as long as the provisions summarized by the judge are followed.

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Probation requires continual visits to probation officers, as well as other conditions that may include payment of fines, completing community service, and submitting to random drug tests. Probation is often offered to first time offenders who commit non-violent crimes and consists of several different types to suit each set of circumstances. Probation may be supervised or unsupervised, and can also require that the offender’s location be monitored by a GPS tracking device.

The offender may possibly have restrictions on leaving their home residence, except when given permission by the probation officer.Parole has many similarities to probation. It also has a main goal of reintegrating offenders into society. Instead of being issued at trial as a sentence, it is a supervised release of an individual that has already served a length of prison or jail time. It is permitted by the parole board after a minimum jail sentence has been served under the condition of compliance and good behavior. Violations of the terms can result in the individual serving the original sentence that was replaced, which is also true for probation. These violations can include failure to pay restitution or fines, associating with other offenders, or being arrested for any reason. The officer decides whether to issue a warning to the violator, or require that the offender appear in court for a hearing on the violation. The severity of the offense is taken into consideration when the course of action is determined. In a violation hearing, the recommendation of the officer typically weighs heavily on the judge’s decision of handling the situation.Offenders usually agree on signing away certain civil liberties when agreeing to probation or parole requirements as part of their status of avoiding incarceration.

In my opinion, this technically does not violate civil liberties since these terms are agreed upon to maintain freedom. These conditions may include granting the supervising officers permission to randomly search the residence, which is associated with the rights entailed in the Fourth Amendment. The offender can also be required to forfeit a civil liberty related to the First Amendment that outlines the right to free association. A pre-agreement condition to parole and probation normally includes stipulations against associating with other offenders. It is necessary for probation and parole officers to have these authorities, because they must keep public safety a priority and assist in reducing recidivism rates. Their job is to supervise offenders for the courts and implement a sentence of restriction as punishment in hopes that the individual will be encouraged to abide by the law. Chapter 8 of the textbook states that probation officers are regarded as the court’s eyes and ears in their role of a confidential counselor to the court.State probation and parole officers oversee people that are convicted of state crimes, whereas federal officers supervise those convicted of federal crimes.

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