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Chapter 13
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  1. Chapter 13 Parole Conditions and Revocation

  2. Introduction • Parole conditions determine the amount of freedom versus restriction a parolee has. • The goals are accomplished by enforcing conditions and providing services that assist in community reintegration. • As with probation, parole revocation occurs if the parolee violates the conditions of parole. LO: 1

  3. Prisoner Perspectives on Getting Out • A California study of parolee perspectives found the reentry process a negative experience for about 1/2 of all parolees. • An Iowa study of the transition from prison to a halfway house and then to parole found inadequate preparation for release that required the payment of rent, seeking employment, and sustaining a job. LO: 2

  4. The Field Parole Officer • Parole officers manage caseloads of 60-75 parolees (25-50 for specialized caseloads) and perform the following functions: • Carry out and enforce the conditions of parole • Make referrals to treatment programs • Conduct investigations and report violations • Provide appropriate information to victims • Share information with law enforcement LO: 2

  5. The Officer’s Perspective • Parole officers generally view parole as more of an art than a science. • Parole officers believe the most important features of a reentry program are: • Steady employment - the key element • Remaining drug free • Positive family and peer social support • Structure in daily activities LO: 3

  6. Conditions of Parole • Standard conditions are mandatory for all parolees in a jurisdiction. • Special conditions are tailored to fit the needs of individual offenders. • Critics of excessive conditions argue that they often create unrealistic expectations and are destined to result in failure. LO: 1

  7. Limited Rights • An offender on parole does not lose all constitutional rights. • However, as with probationers, the rights enjoyed are diminished, meaning that they are not as highly protected by the courts as similar rights enjoyed by nonoffenders. LO: 1

  8. First Amendment • Even preferred rights such as First Amendment rights can be limited if an offender is on parole or probation. • The Federal Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held a condition valid which prohibited a parolee from harassing, intimidating, or picketing in front of any gynecological or abortion family planning services center. LO: 1

  9. Fourth Amendment • As a condition of parole, parolees must allow parole officers to search their car or place of residence without a search warrant. • This condition has been upheld for parole revocation hearings but not for a new criminal prosecution. • The exclusionary rule does not apply to parole or probation revocation hearings. LO: 4

  10. Legal Issues in Parole Conditions for Sex Offenders • Boling v. Romer (1996) held that the condition requiring a parolee to submit DNA samples did not violate Fourth or Fifth Amendment protections. • Parole is discretionary and can be conditional • Involvement in a treatment program for sex offenders requires that offenders admit their guilt. If the crime is denied, then the offender will not be allowed to participate in treatment. LO: 4

  11. Violating Parole • The parole violation process begins when the parole officer discovers a potential violation. • Parole jurisdictions use both warrants and citations in the revocation process. • A 2 stage process is not required in parole revocations, and a conviction for a new offense constitutes sufficient evidence for revocation. LO: 5

  12. Parole Violators • In their 2005 study, Hoffman and Beck found that parole violators were 95% male, over ½ were African-American, and most were between 25-39 years of age. • The most serious offense resulting in revocation was a violent crime (34%), property crime (33%), drug crime (23%) and a public order crime (13%). LO: 2

  13. Revocation Rate • Most rearrests of parolees occur within the first 6 months of release and within 3 years, 2/3 are rearrested. • If a parolee is ultimately revoked, in most cases, the revocation period is not long enough to justify a return to prison. Instead, revoked parolees remain in the community with more restrictions, or they remain in the county jail for the rest of their original sentence. LO: 5

  14. Underlying Causes of Revocation • With more emphasis placed on control and punishment, the threshold level is lowered for what behavior is tolerated before a revocation occurs. • An increase in the average number of offenders that each parole officer has to supervise means offenders have less face-to-face contact. • There are more parole conditions, and thus more ways to violate. LO: 3

  15. Absconders • A parole absconder is an offender who, without prior permission, escapes or flees the jurisdiction of supervision. • The two categories of absconders are: • Type I Absconders: Benign • Type II Absconders: Menace to Society LO: 3

  16. Predicting Absconding Behavior – Ohio Study • Predictive variables include: • Juvenile and adult felony convictions • Arrests within 5 years of the current crime • Previous adult incarcerations • Previous probation or parole revocations • In the California Study, the top 2 variables were unstable living arrangements and frequent unemployment. LO: 3

  17. Parole Effectiveness • Parole has been widely criticized as a “revolving door” to prison that reduces the impact of criminal sentences and threatens public safety. • Recidivism, as a measure of parole success, depends on: • How recidivism is defined • The duration of time of the study • The size of the sampleLO: 4

  18. Predicting Parole Outcomes • The variables shown to predict parole outcome are: • Gender • Male parolees return to prison at higher rates than women. • Number of prior arrests • The lower the number of previous arrests, the greater the likelihood or parole success. • Supervision versus no supervision • While studies vary in conclusion, success is increased when paired with treatment and reentry assistance. LO: 2