Parole is an early release scheme that is incorporated into many justice systems around the world. The goal of this scheme is to allow low-risk prisoners a chance to be integrated back into the community.
Here are the pros and cons of parole systems to consider.
List of the Pros of Parole
1. It reduces prison and jail populations.
To qualify for parole, prisoners must be classified as low-risk through good behavior. Releasing them early reduces overpopulation concerns at local facilities while providing a chance to start a new life.
2. It reduces taxpayer expenses.
The cost of parole supervision is significantly less than the cost of incarceration. In some geographic areas, it costs 10 times more to incarcerate someone than to supervise them while out on parole.
3. It rewards those who are willing to work for it.
Parole is not handed out to every prisoner. Only those who have earned their way to an early release are able to take advantage of this system. Those without good behavior are kept in prison to serve out the length of their terms.
List of the Cons of Parole
1. It allows criminals to start committing crime again.
The biggest disadvantage of parole is that it lets criminals begin their activities sooner than they would be able to do otherwise. There is always the risk that a released prisoner will become a repeat offender. About 20% of people on parole return to prison.
2. It can be difficult to find work on parole.
There are a number of chronic issues which face people on parole. From unemployment to homelessness, some people may resort to committing a crime just because being in jail was more comfortable for them.
3. It can have some people slip through the cracks.
Not everyone likes to live next to someone who is out on parole. There are plenty of people in the system who are working towards a better life. There is also a prevalent fear in many neighborhoods that they might have that one person who gamed the system and could hurt them one day.
In the United States, parole has been authorized since 1925. It is an element of the criminal justice that must be personally applied to be effective. These pros and cons of parole look more at the system as a whole than how it applies to individuals.