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A Brief History of Parole. Revenge of the “Rehabilitative Ideal” and that scoundrel Martinson. What is Parole?. A process of discretionary release from prison Parole Boards A process of post-release supervision Parole Supervision . Early Precursors to Parole.

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a brief history of parole

A Brief History of Parole

Revenge of the “Rehabilitative Ideal” and that scoundrel Martinson

what is parole
What is Parole?
  • A process of discretionary release from prison
    • Parole Boards
  • A process of post-release supervision
    • Parole Supervision
early precursors to parole
Early Precursors to Parole
  • Parole “born” in the 19th century, as governments moved away from corporal punishments (to “reform”)
    • “Prisons” born first, and starting to become the punishment of choice.
      • Spain: (1835) Manuel Montesinos
      • Germany (1842) Georg Obermaier
      • England (1837) Alexander Maconochie
        • And a little love from Sir Walter Crofton (Ireland)
the grammy goes to maconochie crofton
The Grammy goes to….Maconochie/Crofton
  • Alexander Maconochie
    • “Warden” for English penal colony at Norfolk Island (off coast of Austrailia)
    • Criticized “determinate” prison terms
    • Developed the “mark system”
      • Good conduct, labor, study… got “marks”
      • Marks got you privilege, and eventually release
    • Fired in 1844
      • BUT, in 1853, England substitutes prison for transportation, and legalizes “ticket-of-leave” system
      • Hired (1849) and Fired (1851) again in a different prison
sir walter crofton
Sir Walter Crofton
  • Administrator of Irish Prison System
    • Implements Mac’s plan in 1854
    • Tickets of leave only for “reformation”
      • Achievement (industry/education), positive attitudes
    • The “Irish System”
      • Strict Imprisonment
      • Intermediate
      • Ticket-of-leave
        • Closer to “parole” than the English ticket (conditions, supervision)
meanwhile back in the u s
Meanwhile, back in the U.S.
  • National Prison Association
    • Importance of 1870 Meeting in Cincinnati
      • “Irish System” part of “Declaration of Principles”
      • Principles = Rehabilitative Ideal
        • Indeterminate Sentences, Parole, “mark system”
  • Zebulon “the Wolverine” Brockway
    • Elmira Reformatory (NY) in 1876
      • Indeterminate sentence x parole
        • Grades of Classification (first--good--to third--bad)
        • Parole supervision for six months
        • “Volunteer Guardians”
the rise of parole 1900 1970s
The Rise of Parole 1900-1970s
  • Indeterminate Sentencing x Parole spread rapidly
    • NY first state (1907)
    • All but three states by 1927
  • This system reaches its peak in the 1970s
    • By 1977, 72% of offenders released on parole
      • Prisoner Reform (in reality?)
      • Institutional Control
      • Solution to Prison Crowding
the attack on parole
The Attack on Parole
  • Parole not liked by the American public
    • But, polls as early as 1934 reveal this (still holds today)…why in the 1970s?
      • But, danger of polling questions?
  • The 1970s revolution
    • Conservatives (chance to pounce)
      • JQ Wilson (deterrence/incapacitation only option)
      • Parole as “coddling criminals”
    • Liberals
      • End racial/gender bias, boards as political fodder
      • Fogel, Von Hirsch = “Justice Model”
the results of the attack
The Results of the Attack
  • Maine eliminates parole in 1976
      • By the end of 1998, 14 states abolish
      • 1984: Feds phase out (still “supervised release”)
      • 21 additional states limit discretion of parole board
      • Only 15 states still give broad discretion
      • Only 28% of inmates released by parole boards in 1997
  • End result?
    • No increase in time-served (other valves)
    • Truth in sentencing has had an effect
      • Both prison time and parole time have increased
changes in the nature of parole supervision
Changes in the Nature of Parole Supervision
  • Like probation, parole supervisors embraced the “surveillance and control” model in the 1980s
    • Whither counseling, job training, housing?
    • Offenders as in need of “attitude adjustment
      • POs absolved of responsibility for change
      • Drug testing, but no drug tretment
current forms of release
Current forms of Release
  • Mandatory Release
    • Conditional supervision if goodtime credits or other “early release”
      • If full sentence, (expiration) no supervision, unless…
    • Supervision included in sentence
      • Federal Guidelines = “supervised release”
  • Discretionary Parole Release