Criminal Justice Assignment
Criminal Justice Assignment
Principles of parole and duties of a parole officer
Parole is defined as the ‘release and supervision of incarcerated offenders’ before the completion of their sentence in jail. Many inmates, which exhibit positive behaviour throughout the term of their incarceration, may be put on parole towards the end of their sentence. This is not only a reward for their cooperation but also a pseudo-transitional phase to help them ease into life after prison (Siegel & Bartollas, 2011).
Parole is based on four principles:
1. Releasing the inmate before his/her sentence is served is a privilege bestowed upon them by the state.
2. A release contract is signed between the offenders and the state on the condition that the former abide by the rules of the parole.
3. Any violation of said rules may put the offender back in prison.
4. The state has authority over all parolees until they complete their sentence and are released from their contracts (Siegel & Bartollas, 2011).
The duties of parole officers have transformed to balance themselves between taking care of public security and reintroducing parolees to life after prison. The officers responsible for offenders on parole are required to monitor the latter weekly through calls, urine tests, and house calls. The latter also include checking the condition of the homes of the parolees, inspecting the contents of their houses for anything dangerous, and interacting with their house members to see how the parolees are adjusting to life with family. However, parole officers’ duties are not only towards the public to ensure their protection, but also to make sure that the parolees abide by the rules and adjust to newly found civilian life. These include encouraging them to participate in motivational programs and helping them find jobs to support themselves despite their prison record. This is also one of the role conflicts in a parole officer’s career: parolees come to them lamenting their loss of routine and depression, and the officers in charge have to encourage them while also maintaining a professional distance (Siegel & Bartollas, 2011).
Special prison population—Special needs inmates
Special needs is one of the categories of the plethora that prisons deal with on a regular basis. The inmates, falling under these, usually have health conditions that need daily and hourly supervision, or need regular mental and physical checks. Often, these inmates need to be put under special care and even segregated from the rest of the prison population. Of the present special needs inmate population in the United States of America, a large number are HIV patients: 21 states reported testing all their inmates for HIV upon admittance (Siegel & Bartollas, 2011).
Challenges of working with HIV patients/inmates: Except for three states in America—Alabama, Missouri, and South Carolina—all other prisons allow their HIV positive patients to stay with the rest of the prison population. California has a separate facility for HIV-positive patients. One of the greatest challenges with of housing HIV patients in facilities is to educate them about HIV and how it spreads. The state wants the inmates to undergo reformative training and proper education while also implying that it does not condone sex and drug use inside prison boundaries. Additionally, it is also difficult to decide whether the inmates should be housed separately or with the other inmates (Siegel & Bartollas, 2011).
Similar problems face the prison administration when considering housing patients with mental problems, who sometimes also present problems like physical and sexual abuse. Apart from that, special needs patients also find themselves struggling with depression, isolation, low self-esteem and mania (Siegel & Bartollas, 2011).
Problems faced by offenders upon returning to the community
Most of the inmates released struggle with re-acclimatizing themselves with the community they had left behind. Many report problems of depression, insomnia, isolation, and even mourn the loss of routine that they had grown used to in the prison (Grommon, Rydberg, & Bynum, 2012).
There also appear to be significant differences between the re-entry experiences of the older and younger offenders released. Younger offenders have some educational background and are more willing to participate in reinstatement and rehabilitation programs. They are also more likely to refuse additional help from the prison and are willing to chances by seeking out new avenues for employment and further education (Grommon, Rydberg, & Bynum, 2012).
Older participants, however, have a much harder time. They often welcome the assistance of the prison and the system in helping them find sustainable alternatives to live out their days. Additionally, if the sentence served was long, it induces in them hysteria and depression at being cut-off from life and commonplace themes for too long (Grommon, Rydberg, & Bynum, 2012).
Offenders who have also been released have to face societal scrutiny at all levels. This makes it difficult for them to find employment, housing, thus limiting their options at rehabilitation. Offenders need constant family support and a sound, healthy atmosphere as well: isolation and judgment, especially from family, is unhealthy to their mental state (Grommon, Rydberg, & Bynum, 2012).
BIBLIOGRAPHY Grommon, E., Rydberg, J., & Bynum, T. (2012). Understanding the Challenges faced by Offenders upon their return to the Community – Final Report . Michigan: Michigan Justice Statistics Center, School of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University .
Siegel, L., & Bartollas, C. (2011). Corrections Today: Second Edition . Wadsworth : Cengage Learning .