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NCJ Number: 68854 Find in a Library
Title: WHO NEEDS A DOOR-BELL PUSHER? THE CASE FOR ABOLISHING PAROLE
Journal: PRISON JOURNAL  Volume:59  Issue:2  Dated:(AUTUMN-WINTER 1979)  Pages:17-26
Author(s): J P CONRAD
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 10
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE INSTITUTION OF PAROLE SHOULD BE ABOLISHED AND THE RELOCATION OF EX-OFFENDERS INTO THE COMMUNITY SHOULD BE GIVEN INCREASED ATTENTION.
Abstract: AS REHABILITATIVE PROGRAMS APPEAR TO HAVE NO CONSISTENT OR DETECTABLE INFLUENCE ON PRISONERS, THERE IS NO APPARENT BASIS FOR DIFFERENTIATING SENTENCES IN ACCORDANCE WITH CHANGE IN THE SOCIAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL STATUS OF OFFENDERS. SINCE THERE IS NO WAY TO JUDGE CHANGE FOR THE BETTER OR WORSE, SENTENCING COULD BE REDUCED TO THE CONSIDERATIONS OF PUNISHMENT, INCAPACITATION, AND DETERRENCE. RECIDIVISM HAS NOT SHOWN TO SIGNIFICANTLY OR RELIABLY VARY WITH PERTURBATION OF THE SENTENCING PARAMETER. THEREFORE, TERMS SHOULD BE FLATTENED OUT, KEPT SHORT, AND PLACED WITHIN A SENTENCING STRUCTURE WHICH WILL NEITHER OVERCROWD PRISONS NOR REQUIRE ADDITIONAL STRUCTURES. THE PAROLE BOARD, ADMINISTERING INDETERMINATE SENTENCES, WOULD HAVE NO EVIDENT FUNCTION IF FLAT-TERM SENTENCING WERE TO BE IMPOSED BY THE COURTS WITH REMISSION FOR GOOD TIME TO BE ADMINISTERED BY THE PRISON WARDEN ON STRICT CONDITIONS LAID OUT IN THE LAW AND AUDITED BY FUNCTIONARIES INDEPENDENT OF THE CORRECTIONAL SYSTEM. ALTHOUGH GOOD BEHAVIOR IN PRISON IS NO GUARANTEE OF EARLY RELEASE, THE PROVISION OF CREDITS FOR GOOD TIME IS AN ESSENTIAL CONTROL STRATEGY. MOREOVER, PAROLE SERVICES CANNOT BE JUSTIFIED FOR SURVEILLANCE PURPOSES, WHICH ADD UP TO EXPENSIVE PSEUDO-SERVICES. WHILE PAROLE OFFICERS DO OFFER ESSENTIAL SOCIAL SERVICES, THESE CAN BE ASSUMED BY SOCIAL SERVICE PERSONNEL AND VOLUNTEERS. MANY PAROLE OFFICERS ARE AWARE OF THE OBSOLESCENCE OF THE SURVEILLANCE FUNCTION, WHICH SHOULD BE CARRIED OUT BY THE POLICE IF NEEDED, AND RECOGNIZE THE POTENTIAL FOR COERCION IN THE PAROLE OFFICER'S ROLE. THUS A REFERRAL SERVICE SHOULD BE MADE TO PRISONERS NEEDING AND WANTING HELP IN PREPARATION FOR RELEASE, AND MORE VOLUNTEERS SHOULD BE WORKING IN PRISONER ASSISTANCE. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Parole board; Parole outcome prediction; Probation or parole decisionmaking; Sentencing guidelines; Sentencing reform
Note: THIS ARTICLE ADAPTED FROM A PAPER PRESENTED TO THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR CRIMINOLOGY, NOVEMBER 1, 1975
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68854

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