How it Works
The parole system enables some prisoners to be released early under controlled conditions. The first stage in the parole system is eligibility. According to the US Department of Justice (1), eligibility conditions are outlined by the laws of a region and the courts hand down the sentence. If the prisoner is eligible, he or she then applies for parole and brings forth a case to the parole board. In its consideration to allow a prisoner into parole, the parole board examines a number of issues that are related to the case. These include the nature of the committed crime, previous criminal record of the inmate and his behavior for the time he or she was in prison. When granted parole, it comes with attached conditions and usually the parolee is under strict supervision. When serving parole, the parolee has to regularly meet with a parole officer in order to confirm that all parole conditions are being met. In case of parole violation, the parole board determines whether or not the parole needs to be revoked.
Correctional facilities have a number of efforts that help in preparing offenders for reentry and reintegration back into the society. Reintegration takes three phases which include reentry programs during incarceration, programs during the release period and long-term programs for permanent reintegration (Nathan 3). During incarceration, corrections use programs such as anger management, instruction in life skills, cognitive restructuring and vocational training. Corrections also plays a critical role in community supervision whereby the offender is on probation or parole. This constitutes the second phase which includes community based programs that are intended to help in initial reentry into the society. Long-term programs are intended for permanent reintegration, and they include treatment programs and employment.
James, Nathan. Offender Reentry: Correctional Statistics, Reintegration into the Community, and Recidivism. Congressional Research Service, 2011; 1-38.