In most jurisdictions, the assessment of parole in reducing reoffending in people has faced various challenges. The judicial system, in response has introduced parole to release prisoners back into the society based on the promise of good behavior. Some of the changes in parole system have prompted the need to analyze the pros and cons of parole for individuals.
Positive impacts of Parole
Releasing offenders into the society provides an opportunity for the judicial system to monitor the progress report and affirm positive changes of offenders. People change once incarcerated, however the change will be most effective if given the proper motivation (Jones, Brown, & Zamble, 2010). An opportunity to mingle with family and friends, to work in labor markets, and access to better health and living conditions is motivation enough to continue doing good. Probation allows for the prisoners who were once incarcerated to transition back into the society. In comparison to life in prison, it is a step up for most of those in parole; thus, it gives an incentive to continue doing good to ensure that the system notices the changes in behavior. Additionally, it is much easier to track individual’s progress when they are out in the public. It portrays their true nature and their ability to cope up with the pressure in the society. It is true that life will not get any easier, but for those who have been given a chance to turn on a good leaf, it is imperative to maintain a good character.
Another advantage of parole system is that it reduces congestion in the prisons. The offenders who are most unlikely to harm others are granted the chance of carrying out their sentences out in the public, but under a supervisor. According to research, the United States government spends approximately $25,000 dollar to facilitate those in prisons, while at the same time only $2,000 dollars is spent on those on probation (Jones, Brown, & Zamble, 2010). Thus, despite reducing congestion in the prisons, it helps the government relocate the taxpayers’ money into another productive use than facilitating prisons. Currently, the number of offenders being processed into the system is alarming, thus the only way of managing the situation is through parole for the less violent criminals.
Negative impacts of Parole
One major negative impacts of parole is the issue of community safety (Jones, Brown, & Zamble, 2010). There is always a presentable risk involved in letting offenders free into the community. The judicial system balances the risks against the interest of the offender and decides on whether the offenders are put under electronic monitoring or house arrest. However, no matter how small the issue is, there is always a chance that persons under parole may display risky behaviors associated with drug abuse or alcoholism. Some of these activities endanger the safety of the community.
Another negative impact of parole is that some of those on parole may feel abandoned by the community and find it hard to adjust accordingly (Jones, Brown, & Zamble, 2010). Most resort into violent activities that may jeopardize the public safety simply to be taken back to jail where they feel free, among other inmates. The whole concept of parole is for the benefit of the prisoner, it however does not account for the struggles the inmates go through once they are out. Segregation by the society alienates individuals to an extent that their self-esteem is diminished, and feels unworthy of their lives. It ends up posing a threat for the public, and may cause the persons in parole to be locked back in never to step out of prison again.
Jones, N. J., Brown, S. L., & Zamble, E. (2010). Predicting criminal recidivism in adult male offenders: Researcher versus parole officer assessment of dynamic risk. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 37(8), 860-882.