Probation and Parole

Despite the fact that probation and parole are not similar terms of supervision, the media and public have always missed that fact. However, there are several similarities and differences between two terms. As a matter of fact, probation occurs when an offender happen to be released into the community without serving any prison sentence, however, kept under supervision.

On the other hand, parole refers to when an individual serving a term of incarceration get released into the community, but still remains under supervision. As such, both cases refer to a managed supervision of the victims. In this paper, the author discusses three similarities and three differences between probation and parole.

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Similarities of Probation and Parole

As mentioned earlier, both parole and probation refer to conditions implemented in order to supervise victims of crime out of prison facilities. Crime victims get free to join the society, where they have to complete their terms under supervision (Figgis, 1998).

However, various conditions manage their release, and when the conditions become violated; a term of incarceration may be imposed on the victim. As such, community correction agencies have the duty of ensuring that offenders remain liable to these conditions, as well as, encourage them to change their behavior (Thigpen, Thomas, George, & Michael, 2003).

Therefore, both parole and probation get implemented to allow for compliance and rehabilitation of offenders. In order to allow offenders to change by themselves, probation and parole should be implemented for victims that do not cause immense insecurity to the public (Thigpen et al., 2003). As such, the implementation of probation and parole allows for the gradual change of offenders.

Furthermore, parole and probation became key factors of managing the behavior of offenders within the community setting. Over the decades, especially during the 1980s, crime activities gradually increased. As a result, several victims of crime have constantly been sent to prisons in order to serve their terms away from the society.

This ensured that the public remains safe from danger posed by untamed individuals. In the long-run, prison facilities became overcrowded and prison management became impossible to handle. In connection to that, the cost of managing prisons rose towards unacceptable levels in several states.

According to Pew Center on the States (2009), parole and probation significantly reduces prison overcrowding, as well as, the associated costs of running the facilities (Figgis, 1998). In 2008, for example, explosive growth in the cost of running prisons became unusually high and strategies to control the effect had to be implemented.

The same year, $5,672 million accounted for prison spending while only $788 million accounted for probation and parole expenditure (Pew Center on the States, 2009). Therefore, it becomes evident that both parole and probation plays a key role in reducing the cost of government spending in correctional facilities as compared to incarceration.

As much as supervision of parole and probation matters, there are several similarities that link two processes. In both cases, the offenders have to report to an officer during the whole supervision program. Parolees have to report to parole officers, while individuals on probation reports to probation officers.

Relevant sources show that 60 parolees became assigned to one parole officer, while probation officers had more than 100 probation victims to supervise (Pew Center on the States, 2009). Table 1.0 highlights the basic similarities that exist in the conditions governing offenders on parole and probation respectively.

ProbationParole
Offender reports to a probation officer on scheduled basis.
There are several guiding and counseling sessions, as well as, anger management lessons.
Drug and alcohol treatment makes part of the supervision program.
Advices on finding and maintaining employment.
Offenders advised to abstain from making crimes (Figgis, 1998).
Offender reports to a parole officer on scheduled basis.
There are several guiding and counseling sessions, as well as, anger management lessons.
Drug and alcohol treatment makes part of the supervision program.
Advices on finding and maintaining employment.
Offenders advised to abstain from committing any other crimes and keep off other guilty offenders.

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