This paper will discuss the controversial topic of parole. The pros and cons will be debated by discussing both sides of the argument, for and against the provision of parole for accused law offenders. The concept of parole will be defined; the benefits and disadvantages of parole will be highlighted by looking at parole in the American Justice System and the instances of parole in Queensland. Also, the paper will consider whether parole is under or over utilised in Queensland.
Parole, in criminal law terms, is a "the supervised conditional release of a prisoner before the expiration of his or her sentence." (Legal Terms Website, 2004) The word parole is also broadly used to signify a release of an inmate on specific conditions. Parole is usually granted to a prisoner in recognition of past good conduct, prior to imprisonment and/or while serving time. A sentenced criminal may be released on parole before the maximum limit of the prison term has been reached.
The release is conditional on the performance of the parolee's pledge. During the parole period the parolee is required to report from to prison authorities or to a parole agent or parole officer to whose custody he or she was assigned when released. If a parolee is in violation of parole they are likely to be apprehended and returned to prison to serve out the maximum prison sentence. (US Parole Commission website, 2004)
Parole is only eligible to prisoners who have substantially observed and obeyed the rules of the institution; release would not depreciate the seriousness of the offense or promote disrespect for the law. Furthermore, release of the prisoner would not jeopardise public welfare. (Queensland Parole Orders Act, 1984)
Parole has a three-fold purpose. Firstly, through the assistance of a Probation Officer, a parolee may obtain...