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Chapter 15. Release from Incarceration. Release from Incarceration. Release from One Part of the System to Another Origins of Parole Release Mechanisms Discretionary Release Mandatory Release Other Conditional Release Expiration Release The Organization of Releasing Authorities

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chapter 15
Chapter 15

Release from Incarceration

release from incarceration
Release from Incarceration
  • Release from One Part of the System to Another
  • Origins of Parole
  • Release Mechanisms
    • Discretionary Release
    • Mandatory Release
    • Other Conditional Release
    • Expiration Release
  • The Organization of Releasing Authorities
    • Consolidation versus Autonomous
    • Field Services
    • Full Time versus Part Time
    • Appointment
release from incarceration cont
Release from Incarceration Cont
  • The Decision to release
    • Discretionary Release
    • Structuring Parole Decisions
    • The Impact or Release Mechanisms
  • Release to the Community
  • the conditional release of an inmate from incarceration after part of the prison sentence has been served
    • release is typically to a period ofsupervision in the community
    • offender must comply with specific behavioral requirements during this time
parole eligibility
“parole eligibility”
  • the point in a prisoner’s sentence when he/she is first legally able to be released from prison
    • determined variously, in different jurisdictions
      • at the end of the minimum term, less good time
      • at a specific fraction (e.g., 1/3 or 1/2) of the minimum or the maximum sentence
    • “good time” affects eligibility in various ways
    • offender sees parole board automatically, when eligible (no need to “apply”)
confusion about parole
confusion about “parole”

dual meaning of “parole”

A mechanism whereby offenders are released from prison, usually by a “parole board”

A method (and period) of supervision the offender spends in the community

conceptual basis of parole
conceptual basis of parole


grace or privilege



government extends privilege of release, though offender could be kept in prison

parole is an extension of correctional programs into the community; offender is still the responsibility of the government

government enters into agreement with offender, who promises to comply with certain conditions in exchange for being released

predecessors of parole
predecessors of parole
  • historical methods of moving criminals out of prison in England, Ireland, and Australia were responses to:
    • crowding
    • labor shortages
    • cost of incarceration
  • methods included:
    • conditional pardon
    • apprenticeship by indenture
    • transportation
    • tickets of leave
alexander maconochie
Alexander Maconochie
  • key figure in parole (1787-1860)
  • administered British penal colonies in Tasmania/South Pacific/England
  • offender sentenced to certain number of “marks,” according to severity of offense
  • offender could reduce sentence by earning “marks” for work, good behavior
  • sentence also tied to graduated steps:
    • strict imprisonment
    • labor on chain gang
    • freedom within one area
    • ticket-of-leave or parole with conditional pardon
    • full liberty
sir walter crofton
Sir Walter Crofton
  • built on Maconochie’s ideas (1815-1897)
  • Ireland system (“intermediate system”)
    • period of solitary confinement
    • public work prisons (could earn “marks”)
    • intermediate stage (after earning enough marks); like halfway house
    • ticket of leave (conditional release)
  • Crofton added:
    • parolees submitted monthly reports to police
    • special civilian inspector (Dublin) supervised
u s evolution of parole
U.S. evolution of parole
  • Zebulon Brockway released prisoners on parole with NY indeterminate law, 1876
  • 1900: 20 states have parole systems
  • 1910: each federal prison had own parole
  • 1925: 46 states (not Miss, Va)
  • 1930: Congress created US Board of Parole
  • 1942: Mississippi and Virginia joined
release mechanisms
Release mechanisms

3 ways out

discretionary release

expiration release

release of inmate (to conditional supervision) at the discretion of the parole board, within boundaries of sentence & law; inmate is subject

release of an offender from custody (no add’l supervision); offender may not be returned to prison for any part of sentence. Applies in cases of commutation, pardon, or end of sentence

mandatory release

required release of an inmate (to conditional supervision) at the expiration of a certain time period, as determined by law or parole guidelines

organization of releasing authorities issues
organization of releasing authoritiesissues
  • parole board
    • consolidated vs. autonomous?
      • inside dept. of corrections
        • more responsive to corrections needs & programs
      • independent agency of government
        • less affected by institutional/dept. pressures
  • field services
    • under parole board vs. under corrections?
  • board members
    • full vs. part time?
  • appointment
    • by governor vs. by department?
      • who is “qualified” to be on a board?
      • what makes one “qualified”?
ten release mechanisms in south carolina
Ten Release Mechanisms in South Carolina
  • Until a task force on overcrowding consolidated some of the provisions, South Carolina recognized more than 10 ways to leave a prison (besides escape or death). All the following types of release have been specified in the state statutes or administrative procedures
criteria for parole release
criteria for parole release
  • offense
    • severity & attitude toward offense
    • public attitude about offense
  • criminal record
  • attitude toward family, victim, authority
  • institutional behavior, participation, & improvement
  • history of community adjustment
  • health (physical, mental, emotional)
  • insight into causes of behavior
  • adequacy of parole plan
parole guidelines
“parole guidelines”
  • method for structuring decisionsof paroling authorities (like sentencing guidelines), by standardizing release decisions according to the objective measurement of relevant criteria along two dimensions:
    • a “severity scale” rates crimes according to their seriousness
    • a “salient factor score” measures the offender’s criminal history & factors regarded as relevant to his/her success on parole
presumptive parole date
“presumptive parole date”
  • the presumed release date stipulated by parole guidelines, as long as the offender serves his/her time without disciplinary (or other) incidents