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Chapter 13. Parole Conditions and Revocation. 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.

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Chapter 13 l.jpg

Chapter 13

Parole Conditions and Revocation

Introduction l.jpg

  • 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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  • 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

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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

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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

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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