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Probation and Parole, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 527

Essay

After a prison is released from jail, they are often forced to serve probation, a process through which the court can monitor and supervise criminals without having to keep them in the jail system. The probation revocation hearing process in the United States was set up for minor offenders in an attempt to decrease the population in the United States penitentiary system and prevent those who have served prison sentences from returning to their old way of life.

With over 2 million citizens currently incarcerated in a federal or state prison, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, along with the American Judiciary system, decided to implement a probation system for criminals who are not threats to society, do not pose serious flight risks, nor do their crimes warrant a long stay at a state or federal prison.

The probation revocation hearing process is when parolees who have been successfully granted probation by the courts appear before a judge to determine whether or not the parolee has violated the conditions of his probation. At a probation revocation hearing, the court does not have to find the parolee has convicted a crime, such as what happens in a criminal case- the only determining factors a judge must find is a preponderance of the evidence that the parolee violated the specific conditions set up by their probations officer. What this means is that the court only needs to find some form of evidence that probation was violated by the parolee, not that a criminal offense occurred. A parolee can have his probation revoked and be sent back to prison for doing something completely legal, as long as it goes against the conditions of their probation.

Every time a convicted criminal is granted probation, their probation comes with terms and conditions. Typically these conditions consist of actions such as regular payment of a fines due to the court, performance of community service and random drug testing. Failing to pay a fine by a given due date, failing a drug test or conviction of further crimes can all be considered possible probation violations and can call for a probation revocation hearing. During the hearing, the judge will determine whether or not the probation should be revoked and the criminal should be returned to jail to finish out his original sentence.

If a parolee is facing a probation revocation hearing, a number of things can happen. First off, they may be deemed innocent and the revocation hearing will be dropped. If the parolee is found guilty, he does face the potential of going to prison, but the judge may sentence him in other ways. A result of a guilty revocation hearing could lead to a parolee winding up with new and stricter probation conditions. This is an attempt to keep the parolee out of jail, and out of trouble at the same time. Another option of a guilty sentence during a probation revocation hearing that does not involve going to jail involves the judge re-instating the traditional probation conditions granted to the parolee. This is typically in cases where the offender was found guilty of a minor offense and does not need new or stricter probation conditions.

 

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