Drug abuse is noted to be among the top leading means which lead to imprisonment. However, those who are imprisoned often find themselves already addicted to the drug which calls for rehabilitation. These rehabilitation centers for criminals or offenders are held by probation and parole officers. They ensure that the victims get good treatment as well as supervision. Nevertheless, probation and parole is a process that follows certain steps, which are presented at the court of law. First, sentencing and pre-sentencing investigations help to define if the individual is guilty or not.
This paper will analyze the steps in the sentencing and pre-sentencing investigations as well as the diagnosis of classification, supervision and conditions. The future of probation and parole will also be estimated. The paper will describe the role that probation and parole have in criminal justice system and its efficiency as well as the paroling authority and other relevant laws in the justice system. The history and services of probation and parole will also be discussed.
Probation and Parole for Drug Abuse Persons
Drug abuse has been among the issues that have led to probation and parole in the United States. Of the 2.2 million persons imprisoned in the US in 2005, 56-66% were diagnosed with substance abuse disorder. This indicates the prevalence of substance abuse in the US. Majority of drugs like marijuana and cocaine are illegal, and those found in possession of the drugs face the law. Drug abuse has been noted to have a direct connection with parole and probation. Persons suffering from substance abuse have, in many cases, been put in probation since some of the drugs that they abuse are very addictive, and an abrupt stoppage to their use would cause additional problems.
This is why some of these individuals require probation services in order to recover from their past experiences. In this section, probation and parole officers play a crucial role in the supervision of these offenders who are released from imprisonment or directed to non-custodial services such as the community service. They also present reports concerning the proceedings of the victims as well as sentencing recommendation to the courts of law. Drug abuse victims are noted to be the largest group that usually receive the probation and parole attention (Marlowe, 2003).
Consequently, for probation and parole to be achieved, the following sentencing and pre-sentencing investigations have to be carried out. First, it is affirmed that a victim of drug abuse is first presented to a court hearing after the law enforcement officers get enough evidence to hold the person responsible for the drug abuse. In this case, the victims are easy to depict and, therefore, the process may not take a prolonged period before they are presented for a court hearing (Festinger et al., 2002).
This includes the sentencing period, whereby victims are allowed to prepare for the judge. The court reads the victim statement and how the drug impact has affected them. Afterwards, the judge reads the choices or the stance of the court depending on how the substance abuse had affected the individual. It is noted that many victims of drug abuse experience conditions that are easy to depict.
However, probation and parole comes in since they are required to receive correction treatments as well as live under strict supervision. Most drug abusers can easily bring harm to the community when released; hence, a closer look of their steps is highly regarded by law enforcement officers. For those who serve part of their time in prison, probation and parole is usually an easy task since they may be required to finish their jail term in community service, while still under supervision (Heaps et al., 2009).
For instance, in the case of parole, the victims are released and are required to report to the station at set times. Those with adverse effects of substance abuse are kept under treatment until when their health improves. Sometimes, the victims are required to pay a certain amount of money as fine for their offence. This serves to end their time in prison hence adopting the probation and parole issue.
The sentencing process entails the following steps which determine if an individual is guilty or not. First, there is always crime prevention and maintenance of order. This takes place, especially to drug abusers who have violent actions as a result of the offence. As noted earlier, victims of drug abuse are easy to detect, and, therefore, the detection and enforcement step takes its way. The person is prosecuted followed by adjudication. The victim is given the opportunity to defend his or herself after which sentencing takes its place. The sentencing is the judicial determination of a lawful sanction on an individual who is found guilty of the drug issue as affirmed by Marlowe (2002).
Finally, the administration of sentences occurs whereby the individual is required either to go to prison or be kept under probation or parole. This depends on the health status of the victim who may call for treatment while in probation and as the same time serving the jail term.
Pre-sentence investigations are vital in the criminal justice system, even though they are performed in numerous cases. However, they take place when a defendant pleads free of guilt and the judge feels that there is a need for more investigations concerning the drug issue. For instance, a drug abuse victim is not easy to hide, and, therefore, when the case highlights that the victim could be innocent, the judge calls for additional investigations, which are called pre-sentence investigations. A pre-sentence investigation is performed by the courts adult probation officer (Green, 1983). In this, the following steps accompany the process.
First, the defendant is given a questionnaire to fill out and an appointment is created for him or her to be interviewed. This section can sometimes be carried out immediately after the court hearing especially in cases where the probation officers have a feeling that the victim could easily disappear. After the interrogations, the probation department reviews and verifies the information that is gathered. A process hearing date is, therefore, outlined, whereby the court presents the outcomes of the investigations. The information determines the type of sentence that is to be applied and whether the defendant could be kept under probation or not.
Diagnosis of investigation is another step that is very crucial in the event of a drug abuse case. This could be conducted in a laboratory which helps to give instant results. The level of the drug in the victims blood serves to give a good solution to the probation department. In this, the victims case is classified according to the impact on the individual as well as the impact on the other people.
For instance, some offenders are thought to be of harm to the community and are, therefore, kept under probation until they are thought to be of no harm to other people. Supervision is a step that is usually carried out in probation and parole. The level of the crime matters on the supervision is to be presented to the victim of drug abuse. For instance, strict supervision is offered to those persons whom the court believes that they can easily escape. The steps of supervision range from direct supervision to community supervision (Marlowe, 2002).
In direct supervision, offenders work in the community in the supervision of a probation officer. In the case of community supervision, the offender works under the supervision for a certain period of time, after which he or she can work without strict supervision.
The Future of Probation and Parole
Before we discuss the future of probation and parole, it is essential to be knowledgeable about the historical and current state of the issue. Historically, probation developed towards the end of the 19th century and the commencement of the 20th century. The use of probation was particularly restricted and provided to alternative means that called for one to be rehabilitated. As the prison populations increased, as well as the number of judges, correctional facilities, and political leaders, the need for probation also grew up. The cells could no longer hold the rising levels of criminals.
Alternatively, the US Department of Justice affirms that the 90% of the cases that are released in the US are performed on probation. In addition, 80% of the cases are on drug abuse issues. Probation and parole have led to numerous individuals pretending to have changed; hence when released they go back to their previous behaviors (Geerken & Hayes, 1993).
The law enforcement officers have not been able to monitor the offenders' acts precisely since a number of them took drugs while hiding. From this report, it is noted that the future of probation and parole is likely to diminish as time goes by. This is because the incidence has served to hide drug abuse victims and traffickers. These correctional institutions should be rectified in order to give substantial training and rehabilitation. However, since probation has failed to curb the increasing rates of drug abuse, it should be abolished in order to scare the persons who deal with the drug issue. Probation is a key issue in the criminal justice system even though parole has indicated the rising numbers of drug abuse.
It is noted that probation programs have for the last several years increased by more than 18%. This indicates that within the coming years, probation and parole services may not be available since they have not been effective. Drug users will always go for the drugs once more even after visiting the probation trainings.
The Role of Probation and Parole
Probation and parole play significant roles in the criminal justice system. Among them is to give aid to courts and parole boards in dealing with drug abuse issue, which continues to affect many parts of the country. This is performed through assessing whether offenders are suitable for probation or parole. These correction bodies are also required to enforce the conditions of court and parole board orders. In this, they help the court in fulfilling the stated conditions and supervisions since many victims may neglect their duties without the help of probation officers. They also protect the community by assisting offenders to victoriously accomplish their orders.
In addition, they provide security to the community members since crimes like drug abuse could land the community in calamities when an individual takes in excess of the drug as depicted by the American Probation and Parole Association (2009).
Paroling authorities play an important role in the criminal justice system. They make numerous decisions concerning the individuals who require to be released as well as the timing of prison release for offenders. They also make follow-ups for those who are released to make certain that they abide with the rules and never go back to their previous acts (Criminal Law Lawyer Source, 2009).
They also set the conditions of release and the type of supervision that is to be accorded to the persons on parole and probation. Paroling authorities serve to ensure public safety from the victims of drug abuse even undergoing treatment. Paroling authorities work together with other laws like the Corrective Service Act of 2006. This law indicates that parole is the only way in which prisoners are released, a way that helps to monitor their acts accordingly. In addition, the law also depicts that prisoners should serve their entire term in community service (Maxwell, 2000).
The law notes that prisoners who are sentenced to three months in prison are released by the court that sentenced them and not probation or parole officers. The other law is the National Probation Act, which was formulated in 1925 to help in ensuring that probation was followed to the letter. The law served to pave the way to a number of activities which required to be performed during those times. The US federal courts had denied the judicial courts the power to suspend criminals. However, after the adherence of this law, the Judicial courts began suspending victims and putting them under probation.
History and Services of Probation and Parole
Probation traces its roots to the early times of John Augustus, who was a cobbler from Boston. In 1941, he requested the Boston police court to give him the custody of a drunkard man. He also helped the man to get rehabilitation during the time of sentencing. Earlier, the practice of suspending a sentence was practiced in Massachusetts and became prevalent in US courts in 1830. Many judges came in, and the probation issue was moving fast.
By the mid-19th century, the US federal courts ruled that the judicial courts had not permission to release offenders. This led to the acknowledgement of the National Probation Act of 1925. This allowed courts to suspend criminals after imprisonment. The law also depicted that the courts were required to place an offender on probation. Probation, therefore, was derived from the philanthropist ways of John Augustus in his efforts to rehabilitate the conduct of offenders (Green, 1983).
Probation and parole officers offer supervision to all law offenders who are in line with their duty. In our case, drug abuse victims are kept under probation after a prolonged use which often leads to addiction (Wright, 2005). Such persons require probation under well skilled personnel. The services of probation and parole include 88 staff that operates in 15 district communities throughout the country. They are also accountable in completing the pre-sentence investigations in order to provide detailed information to the courts of law.
Once the victims of drug abuse recover, the probation and parole officers are entitled to dismiss them with joint units with the court that sentenced them. Probation and parole are bodies that are extremely necessary in the criminal justice system since they employ risk factors for every criminal in order to formulate the case supervision plans. This is because some criminals have had records of drug abuse, and parole would not be provided to them. Such persons are kept under the supervision by the probation until the period when their time of service expires.
These officers also ensure community safety as highlighted earlier in this context. Drug abuse victims are noted to be violent and can cause additional problems to the society members if not monitored by these officers. They also evaluate the criminal history of law breakers, a condition that helps them to know the area where the victim suits. Some need correction centers like health checkups and other health issues.
However, in order to work effectively with other law enforcement agents, probation and parole officers embrace the transition for prison to community (TPC) and work closely with this body to make correctional facilities easier. These two bodies are entitled to offer maximum effectiveness in supervision which is their goal, in addition to utilizing specialized caseloads (Piehl & LoBuglio, 2005). The services of probation and parole officers are categorized in three parole specialists. Among them are the five drug court officers who aid in the activities of the probation and parole officers.
Drug courts encompass probation and parole officers who help to curb the increasing rates of drug abuse in the country. Their roles in the criminal justice system have been defined through supervision. They are entitled to ensure that offenders do not disappear, leaving their duties unattended. In addition, they ensure public safety since the majority of drug abusers can portray bad behavior when they take the substance in excess.
For an individual to be considered an offender, he or should be presented with sentencing or pre-sentencing investigations that help to affirm of the crimes committed. As depicted in this context, the role of probation and parole officers is extensive since they tackle several areas of the criminal justice system. These include supervision and training of the offenders who need their help. For instance, it is noted that several criminals in the drug issue find themselves in critical conditions concerning their health as well as low self esteem.
Paroling authority is the tool that is behind the works that are carried out by probation and parole officers. This is achieved through adherence to the laws of the state hence effective activities in the entire section of the criminal justice. The services that have for long been conducted by the probation and parole officers have been in line with the historical concepts that were laid down by several philanthropists, just to mention John Augustine. Probation and parole have been practiced in areas whereby there are ring numbers of offenders.
Some offenders are kept under parole even when their term of service in the prisons is not over. This has led to numerous individuals committing the previous crimes knowing that they would be arrested and taken to parole within a short duration. This has led to lack of future in the two areas, which indicates that the services may not be available in the upcoming days.