Preparing for Prisoner Reentry Various systems are used to make release decisions about incarcerated offenders. In states in which sentences are indeterminate, a paroling authority often must make a decision to release an offender and decide when that release should occur. Sentencing laws might determine when an offender is eligible for release,.
Preparing for Prisoner Reentry Various systems are used to make release decisions about incarcerated offenders. In states in which sentences are indeterminate, a paroling authority often must make a decision to release an offender and decide when that release should occur. Sentencing laws might determine when an offender is eligible for release, but he or she is not granted a release until a parole authority approves. In the following cases, a paroling authority must determine whether to release an offender to a community. Factors considered often involve probability of recidivism, victim impact, community impact, conduct of offender in an institution, and release plan offered. Consider these cases and determine whether an offender’s release has merit.
Case A Joseph, age 28, is serving up to 20 years for two counts of armed robbery. He has already served the mandatory minimum of five years and is being considered for release for the first time. Joseph served a previous sentence for burglary and successfully completed a release period before he committed the current crimes. The victims in both robberies were elderly gas station attendants, and very small amounts of money were obtained from the robberies. The victims remain fearful of the offender, and both indicate that their lives were significantly affected by the experience. Neither victim ever returned to work out of fear of similar future events. While incarcerated, Joseph has completed substance abuse treatment for his cocaine dependence, meeting treatment summary calls for his attendance in facility Cocaine Anonymous meetings. He attends such meetings about half of the time they are offered. He has also completed an anger management program, has been assigned to several inmate jobs, and has had no rule violations while incarcerated. Joseph would like to have transitioned to a work release facility, but due to a waiting list, he was not able enter its program prior to being considered for release. His community plan is to return to the same community where he committed his crimes, live with his elderly aunt, seek work as a construction laborer, and attend community substance abuse aftercare. He would be under the supervision of a parole officer upon his release, if granted.
Case B Fred is a 39-year-old individual serving 14 years for possession with intent to sell a controlled substance. This is his second prison term, having served a six-year sentence for sale of heroin in the 1990s. He was paroled on the first offense after four years and successfully completed parole supervision. However, he was arrested on the current charge within two months of being released from parole supervision. Law enforcement officials reported that he had been under surveillance for several months before the arrest and was suspected of dealing drugs during most of the period under parole supervision. While under supervision, he reported regularly to his parole officer and worked steadily at a job in a warehouse owned by his brother-in-law. There were no known law violations during the period of supervision. Fred’s institutional adjustment has been excellent. He attended drug counseling and is a member of the prison Narcotics Anonymous group. He attained his GED certificate and reports that he wants to attend community college when released. He will work for his brother-in-law again when released and live with his sister and her husband until he can afford to rent an apartment. The sheriff in the county in which he would live has protested his parole release, stating that Fred is a manipulative and devious individual who maintains a façade of cooperation and honest living while continuing to sell drugs. Fred has served 5 years of his current 14-year sentence. Institutional counselors recommend his release at this time.
Case C Marie is a 55-year-old female who has served 30 years of a 20 years-to-life sentence for murder. She was convicted of killing her two young children (ages two and four years). She reported that her live-in boyfriend would not agree to stay with her as long as she had children. She chose to kill the children to maintain that relationship. She has maintained a near-perfect prison record and is considered by authorities a model inmate. She reports great remorse for her actions. The prison chaplain has counseled her for many years and states that she has been “born again” and “forgiven” for her crimes and sins. Marie works as a chaplain’s assistant in the institution and is well thought of by both prisoners and prison officials alike. If paroled, she will work for Prison Ministries in her hometown and will be provided with a place to stay by her employers.
Preparing for Prisoner Reentry Various systems are used to make release decisions about incarcerated offenders. In states in which sentences are indeterminate, a paroling authority often must make a decision to release an offender and decide when that release should occur. Sentencing laws might determine when an offender is eligible for release,