Rehabilitation In the United States today the incarceration of offenders is not always the right option for rehabilitating criminals. The idea of putting offenders on probation who are supervised, also with a suspended sentence can assist in the decrease of crime (University of Phoenix, 2011). This paper will discuss the origins of rehabilitation in prison and its definition, the definition of parole and how it differs from mandatory release, the definition of probation and how it compares to other forms of sentencing, the definition and options of community corrections, and the critique of the current rehabilitation options.
Also this paper will determine if there are better solutions than the current community corrections options that exist today. Definition and origins of rehabilitation in prison Prisoner rehabilitation is a form of treatment; this treatment is a set plan to prepare an offender for their release back into society. A prisoner who has committed a crime will need some type of treatment because he or she may sooner or later get a second chance in society. Second chances are known as rehabilitation and it starts in prison and will continue after he or she is released.
The origins of prisoner rehabilitation began in a dungeon during medieval times in the late 18th century. The treatment to rehabilitate varies; it really depends on the crime committed by the offender. The methods used vary from vocational and educational to assist an offender so they can learn skills that can be used outside of the prison when he or she gets released. Rehabilitation is vital in the prison but is also very important once they are released. Definition of parole and how it differs from mandatory release Parole can be defined as a convicted criminal who is released rom prison prior to the completion of his or her prison sentence (Seiter, 2011). This release has terms that must be abided by, such as checking in with a parole officer, staying out of trouble, and not associating with other ex-convicts. If these terms are not followed it may result in reversal of parole and a return to prison to complete his or her sentence. Mandatory release is based on an offender being able to serve his or her time without any problems, which will gain him or her credit for time. A prisoner will be given parole under mandatory release rules once the individual has served 85 % of his or her sentence.
Definition of probation and how it compares to other forms of sentencing Probation, which is the common form of sentencing in the United States, is defined as a period of incarceration that is suspended, and the offender is released to society under supervision (Petersilia, 1998). Probation is only given under specific court-ordered terms, such as performing public service work, staying away from liquor, paying a fine, maintaining good behavior, getting mental therapy, and reporting regularly to a probation officer. Violation of probation terms usually will result in the person being sent to jail for the normal term.
Repeat criminals are normally not eligible for probation. Probation is not the same as parole, which is freedom under certain restrictions given to convicts at the end of their imprisonment. Probation compares to other forms of sentencing due to the fact that the individual is still under supervision just like if he or she were in prison or on parole. Probation is just another type of community corrections. Definition and options of community corrections Community corrections is a type of supervision for offenders that are placed back in the community and are required to abide by certain rules and regulations (Seiter, 2011).
Community corrections include parole, probation, and halfway houses. There are two types of community corrections models in the United States. One model is the, integrated community corrections program, which combines guidelines for sentencing and judicial discretion. The second model, most states instituted a program that will allow correctional officials the ability to directly sentenced offenders into alternative sanction programs and parole and probation options. These two models were designed to assist it the reduction of overcrowding in the prisons, and it also is a less expensive alternatives to prison (Nieto, 1996).
Critique the current rehabilitation options: Is there a better solution to the current parole process? The current solution is good to a certain extent. I believe that the offenders who are being release on parole need a better evaluation prior to reaching the parole board. Offenders go into prions already knowing what they need to do in order to be released. The prisoners today are doing one or two things while they are incarcerated; they are either learning how not to get caught while committing a crime from the prisoners who are already there or they are planning not to come back to prison.
I also feel that parole officers should be held accountable in doing their jobs when they are assigned offenders who have been released on parole. There have been too many cases of offenders who have been released and not properly supervised committing crimes. Is there a better solution to the current probation system? The current probation system is fine as far as I can see at this time in the United States, but it still has its flaws. The majority of people who are placed on probation deserve just that but there are some that deserve to go to jail or prison.
There have been numerous cases in which individuals who have been placed on probation continue committing serious crimes while on probation. Once again just like offenders who are on parole, the people in charge of supervising them need to do a better job of checking on these individuals. Are there better solutions than the current community corrections options? The solution to community corrections is to hire more officers to supervise these offenders who are placed back into the community.
I believe that the lack of qualified Probation and Parole Officers are the main key to the cause of recidivism. Also there needs to be more programs established and available to these individuals once released to prevent them from going back to prison. This country puts more emphasis on stopping crime that we tend to forget about the offenders who have done their time and placed back in society looking for help. If we start focusing more on helping those that need our help and stop turning our backs on them, the revolving door will stop.