1. Explain how a conviction changes a probationer/parolee’s legal status with regards to searches, the exclusionary rule, and Miranda warnings. Use appropriate court decisions to support your response.
2. Identify the advantages and disadvantages of probation and parole.
3. Describe the key problems in attempting to implement a successful re-entry program.
4. Identify and describe the various forms of intermediate sanctions.
5. Describe the four major functions and duties of probation and parole officers.
Suggested Sources: Criminal Justice: A brief introduction
Explain how a conviction changes a probationer/parolee’s legal status with regards to searches, the exclusionary rule, and Miranda warnings. Use appropriate court decisions to support your response.
According to Champion (2005), persons who are subject to police investigation and probationers must be advised of their Miranda rights if under interrogation, whether they are in custody or not. Additionally, any individual must be read the Miranda rights before an arrest. Probationers/parolees, on the other hand, can be arrested without being informed of their Miranda rights. However, since all probationers or parolees are considered to be in a form of custody in the course of their program thus, they have the right to be advised of the Miranda rights before interrogation (Champion, 2005). Admission to crime or submission of incriminating information during interrogation when the probationer/parolee is not advised on the rights makes such information inadmissible in the court of law (Minnesota v. Murphy, 465 U.S. 420, 104 S.Ct. 1136 (1984)). Moreover, parole/probation officers can do a search without a warrant or permission if they have strong reasons to believe the parolee/probationer is involved in crime. However, the search cannot be harassing, arbitrary or unnecessarily intrusive otherwise, it becomes a violation. In U.S. v. Knights, the court ruled that Knights, the respondent sentenced to probation for a drug offence should submit to a search anytime with or without a search/arrest warrant or reasonable cause, by any law enforcement or probation officer (Rutledge, 2015).
The exclusionary rule holds that the collection or analysis of evidence in violation of the defendant’s fundamental constitutional rights may sometimes be inadmissible in the criminal prosecution of the person. Parolees must be aware of the terms at least by the time of a release on parole to make a decision on whether to accept or reject the conditions of the release (State ex rel. Crosby v. White, 456 P.2d 845 (Mont., 1969)). However, it is not considered as a violation of fundamental fairness when the offender is not informed in advance of his or her release conditions of the parole (U.S. v. Rich, 518 F.2d 98 (C.A. 8, 1975)). A change in the terms of the probation or parole causing a fundamental change in the probationer’s liberty interest can be held as a violation of the due process in accordance with the state constitution as in (People v. Jackson, 424 N.W.Ed 38 (Mich. App., 1988)) (Carmen, 2016).
Advantages and Disadvantages of Probation and Parole
Probation and parole have various pros and cons. The foremost advantages of parole and probation are the reduction of incarceration, the attachment of flexibility in dealing with criminal offenders, and giving ex-convicts an opportunity for development and re-entry into the society. Probation is given after consideration of an individual’s ability to function effectively and gives the offender a chance to reform while under close monitoring to prevent further criminal activity. On the other hand, parole is the release of offenders/convicts after sufficient evidence of reform or after completion of their sentence. Both give the offender or ex-convicts the chance to re-enter society and reduce incarceration. As such, they trigger personal and societal development by reducing the cost that comes with incarceration and giving the parolees and probationers the chance to improve their lives through different re-entry and re-integration programs (Reid, 2011).
In some instances, the parole or probation may be disadvantageous. According to Reid (2011), releasing of offenders on parole or probation may increase the risk of criminal activity in the society. The different challenges that face parolees such as unemployment, homelessness and social maladjustment forces many of them to crime and recidivism. Moreover, probationers may find probation lenient and thus continue to commit offenses. The greatest disadvantage of probation and parole, however, is the continued involvement with the criminal justice system and the close monitoring. This process ensnares many individuals in the system and thus is detrimental to them, their personal development and the society. The continued monitoring and investigation of a person believed to have reformed (parolee) means and the allocation of correctional resources to such programs affects the individual significantly while misusing public resources. There is a need for the government to work on programs that allow the effective re-entry and re-integration of parolees and ex-convicts to minimize the ineffectiveness and socio-economic cost of the parole and probation programs (Hoge, Guerra, & Boxer, 2008).
Key Challenges for a Successful Re-entry Program implementation
Some of the policies implemented to fight crime in the society limit the efficiency of implementing reentry programs. Even when the correctional facilities impart skills and equip the offenders with knowledge critical for their integration in the society, some policies make it difficult for them to re-enter and participate in societal and personal development. Ex-convicts are often denied job opportunities upon background check. Moreover, in some states, there are state laws that prevent ex-convicts from serving in public positions. These make it difficult for the offenders to re-enter the society by limiting the pool of opportunities for personal development. The criminal justice system makes sure that the incarceration period is used for the development of skills that prepare the inmates for securing jobs after their release. However, the laws and discrimination of ex-convicts on the basis of their past makes it difficult to benefit from the programs offered in the correctional facilities or previously acquired skills and knowledge. This issue increases the cases of recidivism (Hoge, Guerra, & Boxer, 2008).
Another major challenge facing the implementation of re-entry program is the high unemployment rates in the society and the non-existence of sufficient programs for job placement and follow-up programs. The criminal justice system ensures that the correctional facilities empower inmates to pursue different career paths and use the knowledge and skills they have for the development of self and the society. However, even after the improvement of the employability and workforce participation of the inmates, they face a critical challenge of unemployment upon release. With a criminal past and the inability to find employment, ex-convicts may find it difficult to re-enter and integrate into the society effectively. Additionally, the non-existence of enough programs for job search and placement and follow-up programs limit the efficiency of re-entry programs. Most often, such persons may turn into criminal activity for survival. Therefore, the government, through the criminal justice system and community development agencies must invest in programs that focus on the reintegration of offenders (Reid, 2011).
Mental health illnesses and housing challenges pose significant problems in the implementation of re-entry programs. Incarceration is a detrimental process for most people. In involves the separation from family, friends and the society and offenders often experience different reactions from the people around them. As such, most develop mental health issues that must be dealt with to ensure effective re-entry. The inability to deal with mental health issues makes it difficult for ex-convicts to integrate effectively in the society. Moreover, even when they are willing to re-integrate, they face another critical challenge when their families do not offer housing. The challenge of finding housing remains imminent in a society where criminal record predetermines the fate of a person even after they have reformed. Lack of proper housing often pushes them to the former life and thus recidivism (Hoge, Guerra, & Boxer, 2008).
Functions and Duties of Probation and Parole Officers
The parole or probation officer performs different functions and duties in the enforcement of the law. The officers supervise offenders on parole (released from incarceration) or those sentenced to non-custodial or intermediate sanctions. The supervision of the offenders comes with duties such as investigation and meetings with the offender. The parole or probation officer meets with the offender on a weekly or a monthly basis in accordance with the court’s designation. The officer uses the meetings to review the requirements established for the parole or probation. Depending on the progress of the parolee/probationer, the officer may recommend looser or stricter meeting requirements. Additionally, the officer investigates the history of criminals/offenders through background checks, employers, and community members and uses the information to recommend to the court the terms of the probation.
Additionally, the probation/parole officer collaborate with other correctional officers and enforces the law to ensure the reduction of crime in the society. To start with, the officers work with different agencies and officers from different agencies to monitor and manage parolees/probationers. S/he must maintain a cooperative relationship with the public and private organizations in the society to make sure that the parolee/probationer receives the necessary assistance. For instance, the officers may assign drug and substance abusers to attend therapy sessions or meetings to ensure their full recovery. Moreover, in the performance of their duties, the officers prioritize law enforcement by assisting the parolee/probationers through their probationary periods. In doing so, they report any violation of the terms or progress to the court to ensure that just hearings and terms are offered. As such, through the different functions and duties, the parole/probation officers ensure the effective supervision of parolees/probationers by the law to ascertain improvement and rectification of criminal behavior.
Forms of Intermediate Sanctions
are different forms of intermediate sanctions applied by the criminal justice
system. These sanctions serve a critical role in the reduction of crime,
expansion of sentencing options to align the severity of the crime with the punishment,
and allow the rational allocation of resources to correctional facilities and
programs. The intermediate sanctions include intensive supervision programs, community
service, fines, home confinement, day reporting centers, and electronic monitoring.
The intensive supervision programs focus on ensuring that persons on probation or
under correctional monitoring follow the set guidelines without breaching the
laws. Additionally, house confinement or arrest restricts the offender to his
or her home and cannot leave the house unless to or from the court. Moreover, while
fines include payment charged by the court in monetary form, close and
electronic monitoring involve often checking with the parole/probation officers
to ensure that the offender does not engage in criminal activity and the use of
electronic monitoring device to track/confine the offender respectively.
Carmen, R. V. (2016). Criminal procedure: law and practice / Rolando V. Del Carmen, Sam Houston State University. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Champion, D. J. (2005). The American dictionary of criminal justice : key terms and major court cases. Los Angeles, California: Roxbury Publications Ltd.
Hoge, R. D., Guerra, N., & Boxer, P. (2008). Treating the juvenile offender. New York: Guilford Press.
Reid, S. T. (2011). Criminal Justice Essentials. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
LAWTECH PUBLISHING (2015). 2015 Search and Seizure Source Guide QWIK-CODE: Law Summaries. New York: LawTech Publishing Group.