Discretionary Release the release of an inmate to a community supervision

Discretionary release the release of an inmate to a

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Discretionary Release – the release of an inmate to a community supervision program at the discretion of the parole board within the limits set by law. Parole is not a right, but rather a privilege available under indeterminate sentencing. Inmates do not have a constitutionally protected right to expect parole. States are free to set their own standards for determining when someone is eligible to be considered for parole. Convicts do not apply for parole. An inmates’ case automatically comes up before the parole board a certain number of days before she is eligible for parole. The board has an eligibility report prepared which helps them make the decision. Not all inmates are eligible for parole. Some are sentenced to life without parole. When Should an Offender Be Released? This is a controversial subject. The American Correctional Association says the parole board has four basic roles: 1. Decide which offenders should be placed on parole
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2. Determine the conditions of parole and the level of supervision needed 3. To discharge the offender when the conditions of parole have been met 4. If a violation occurs, to determine whether parole privileges should be revoked. The Parole Board Most are made of 5 to 7 members who served a limited term of years. About half of the states have no prerequisites for service. Some of the others require Bachelor’s Degrees and some experience in the field of criminal justice. Some boards are affiliated with the government and some act as independent bodies. If the board is part of the government it is usually made up of correctional staff appointed by the state department of corrections. If it is an independent body it is made up of citizens from the community who have been chosen by a government official, usually the governor. The Parole Hearing The actual release decision is made after this hearing. During the hearing the entire board reviews relevant information on the convict. Sometimes the offender is interviewed. Key players in the case are often notified in advance and asked to provide comments and recommendations. These participants include the sentencing judge, the attorneys at the trial, law enforcement who were involved, and the victim. If parole is denied, it will normally be scheduled for a future review at some future date. Sometimes these decisions are viewed as arbitrary and unfair. Research done by the Bureau of Justice Statistics has found that most offenders were serving less than a third of their sentences in the 1990s. This gave the public the impression that parole boards were too lenient and led to determinate sentencing and the establishment of mandatory minimum terms. These did not get rid of good time. The Impacts of Truth in Sentencing Laws In 1987 the federal sentencing guidelines went into effect which required those convicted in federal courts to serve at least 85% of their terms. The federal government encouraged states to pass these laws by offering federal money for prison construction if they would pass similar laws. 29 states have done that and fourteen others have passed some other form of less stringent truth in sentencing laws.
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  • Spring '18
  • Gary Copus
  • The Road, PROBATION OFFICER, Parole, parole board

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