The uses traditional probation and parole traditions as

The Importance of Probation and Parole
in the US Criminal Justice System

Probation and parole are very important to our communities,
victims, offenders, and society as a whole. So, what is probation and parole
and how does it help? This is a great question that often people wonder, but do
not ask. Take this into account that there is over 5 million people that are
currently being supervised within the corrections system and about 70% are
supervised by probation and parole. Probation and parole which is also called
the community corrections which uses traditional probation
and parole traditions as well as other sanctions such as intensive supervision,
restitution, community service, correctional boot camps, and fines (Admin, 2013).

This community corrections have been used for over 30 years
and has helped change the theoretical model
guiding the practice of community supervision. This helps make the goals of the
community important and for the offenders to integrate into the community. For
many victims’ probation and parole are very important to them because both
probation and parole have obligations to ensure that victims rights are been
provided. Victims are in many ways considered

clients of community corrections
agencies, because they are to be kept informed, and involved in receiving information
about and access to community- and system-based services that can help them in
the aftermath of a crime. These victims are also helpful in provided useful information
that can be critical to effective management and supervision of
defendants/convicted offenders (Appa-Net, 2013).

            However,
within the community corrections offenders are giving the tools needs to become
successful in the community. Probation and parole help offenders obtain
employment and aiding the offender’s family. This method comes for a man named
John Augustus, which has been being used since the late 19 centuries.  After probation or parole time is up the
offenders return to court armed with sentencing recommendations or reduced
sentencing. Due to his efforts John Augustus’s charges were typically spared
incarceration. John Augustus’s probation is what is still practiced today with
little change (Encyclopedia of Crime and
Justice, 2002).

            To
clearly understand probation and parole you need to know how this practice came
around. It started in the mid-19th century that many to all the
offenders were sentencing was either a flat or
determinate sentencing into prison. By using this type of sentencing, each
offender receives a specific amount of time to serve in the correctional system
by the crime they committed. However, this system created problems when the
correctional faculties became overcrowded. Therefore, due to overcrowding there
had to be mass pardons or random prison releases of offenders to make more room.
Therefore, something had to be done and therefore created room for change in
the system.

            Changes were made to start creating
a parole system which was started by an Captain Alexander Maconochie, and later
improved by Sir Walter Crofton. Maconochie wanted to use the idea that was used
in Norfolk Islands which was that criminals were transported to between one
English country to another English country (Norfolk Island) which was
considered “twice condemned”. Conditions were so bad on Norfolk
Island that men who received reprieves from the death penalty wept. Therefore, Maconochie
removed the flat sentencing structure and instead created a “mark
system” (Encyclopedia of Crime and
Justice, 2002).
The Mark System was used for offenders to could earn freedom through hard work
and good behavior within the correctional system. Earning marks allowed for offenders
to buy goods or shorten their sentence. The offenders that were chosen for the
Mark System had to pass through a different stage beginning with strict
imprisonment through conditional release to final freedom (Encyclopedia
of Crime and Justice, 2002).

 Sir Walter Crofton had a different idea which
he believed the length of the sentence should not be based on a certain period
but should be related to the rehabilitation of the offender. Crofton created a
system that incorporating three classes of penal servitude: strict
imprisonment, indeterminate sentences, and tickets-of-leave (Encyclopedia
of Crime and Justice, 2002).

In the last 19th
century Zebulon Brockway, known for initiating indeterminate sentences and
parole release in the United States. Brockway had almost the same idea as
Maconochie and Crofton, however Brockway felt that offenders should earn their
way out of prison through good behavior. Therefore, offenders receive a
sentence that could vary in length depending on their behavior in the
correctional system. This system can offer two advantages which are first provide
a release valve for managing prison populations. Second it would put value on reforming
offenders because they would be earning release by demonstrating good behavior (Encyclopedia
of Crime and Justice, 2002).

Brockway came up with
this idea of a probation and parole system when he was the superintendent of
Elmira Reformatory. The inmates within the reformatory were graded on their
conduct, achievement, and education. Therefore, basis of their behavior in the
reformatory they were given parole (Encyclopedia of Crime and
Justice, 2002).

Making this the
important concept which created the ground work for probation and parole in the
United States. Brockway offered 3 concepts that were put into place first was a
reduction in the offenders’ sentence based of their behavior in the
correctional system. Second the offenders would be supervised while on
probation or parole within the community. Number three the offender would have
indeterminate sentences (Encyclopedia of Crime and
Justice, 2002).

Due to Brockway it
created the probation and parole to what it is today however, with changes to
what is needed today instead of the 19th century. Today we are faced
with even more overcrowding than before. Causing increases to probation and
parole populations. Increased rates of revocations have been attributed to many
factors including was based pf six things one control-oriented practices of
community supervision. Second probation and parole officers did backgrounds of
the offenders. Third have an increase in the number of requirements of
probation and parole.  Fourth improve
supervision of offender’s violations. Fifth the more serious offender placed on
community supervision caseloads. Lastly the increase in probation and parole
caseloads (Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice, 2002).

Therefore, most
probationers successfully completed their sentence without incident. However, recidivism
rates for offenders on probation and parole are higher than before. More than 62%
percent offenders have been rearrested for a felony or serious misdemeanor
within three years of release and 41% of offenders returned to prison (Encyclopedia
of Crime and Justice, 2002).

Due to the increasing
numbers of offenders are having parole revoked during community supervision,
many jurisdictions are reexamining their revocation procedures. Therefore, different
developments have been made to the probation and parole structure which include
decision-making, and how the criminal justice trends change with time. The new
structure helps develop decision-making by clearer policies giving the goals of
revocation and specifying which violations are serious enough to result in
revocation procedures. To help identify what behaviors warrant alternative. This
allows for probation and parole officers to have a clear understanding of violations
and to provide a routine supervision that can be responded to in a variety of
ways (Encyclopedia of Crime and
Justice, 2002).

In conclusion it is important
to understand what, and where probation and parole comes from. This is an
important step to help communities, victims, offenders, and society as a whole.
It is important to see the functions of probation and parole. To have a
successful system in place you first must learn it and understand what the
system is. Therefore, understanding the history, movements, and practices are
important.