Probation V. Parole Vs. Probation: Term Paper

Total Length: 777 words ( 3 double-spaced pages)

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"Public safety and assisting the offender in reintegrating into the community are the most important considerations in any parole decision. Is the inmate willing and ready to re-enter the community as a law-abiding citizen and contribute to a safer society? Can the inmate's release back into society harm the general public? All relevant information is considered" (General parole and probation questions," 2008, Criminal Law - Parole Probation, p. 3). This is in contrast to probation, which is a legal sentence enforced based upon the nature of the crime and is viewed more in terms of the degree of the convicted defendant's culpability and mitigating circumstances regarding the crime.

The parole board takes some of the same factors into consideration as a judge does when sentencing an individual to a term of probation, such as the type and severity of the offence, but also considers certain personal factors, such as the individual's time served for the offense in prison, age, mental stability, marital status, education or vocational training, behavior and habits in prison and efforts shown at rehabilitation and remorse, and prior criminal history.

The parole board takes into consideration the inmate's psychological factors as well as issues pertaining to the act itself (General parole and probation questions," 2008, Criminal Law - Parole Probation, p.2).

Thus, given the need for the parole board to take into consideration more psychological aspects of the inmate's life and to critically evaluate the inmate's recent life history in prison, separating the two functions of parole and probation seems wise, even if there may be considerable overlap in their approach to evaluating the inmate's character.
Individuals with different types of expertise are needed to make judgments regarding probation and parole. A judge and probation officer may need to be well-versed in the legal system, but it is of paramount importance that a parole officer know what to look for in an inmate that predicts likely recidivist behavior, and what types of conditions should be placed upon certain types of criminals to help them successfully transition back into the community and become productive citizens.

Works Cited

General parole and probation questions." (2008). Criminal Law - Parole Probation. Free Advice. Retrieved 30 May 2008 at

Parole and probation." (2008). Directory M. Retrieved 30 May 2008 at

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