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Indeterminate Sentence and Parole

I need some guidance with the following:

What were some of the major criticisms that led some states to abandon the indeterminate sentence and parole? Do you support abolition of indeterminate sentence and parole? Why or why not? Please be sure to support your position. (5 paragraphs)

Please include references. Thank you.

Solution Preview

Interesting questions! Have you given this debate some thought to determine if you agree with abandoning the indeterminate sentence and parole (or not)? Let's take a closer look at the two question to help in this process.

RESPONSE:

1. What were some of the major criticisms that led some states to abandon the indeterminate sentence and parole?

An indeterminate sentence is an indefinite sentence of imprisonment, within a specified range (e.g. "5 to life") with the Board of Pardons later determining the exact term to be served. Whereas parole is the "[s]upervised release from prison before an inmate serves a full sentence is called parole. Parole officers working for parole agencies provide supervision and counseling to parolees. Another agency, a parole board, determines whether inmates should be granted parole and establishes conditions that each parolee must abide by. If a parolee violates any of these conditions or commits a new crime, the parole board can revoke parole and re-incarcerate the offender" (http://www.cliffsnotes.com/WileyCDA/CliffsReviewTopic/Prisons.topicArticleId-10065,articleId-10049.html).

Brockway, a Michigan penologist, is usually credited with initiating indeterminate sentences and parole release in the United States. He believed inmates should be able to earn their way out of prison through good behavior. Thus, they should receive a sentence that could vary in length depending upon their behavior in prison. In his opinion, this had two advantages. First, it would provide a release valve for managing prison populations. Second it would be valuable in reforming offenders because they would be earning release by demonstrating good behavior. Thus, by the turn of the century the major concepts underlying parole were in place in the United States: (1) a reduction in the sentence of incarceration based on good behavior in prison; (2) supervision of the parolee in the community; and (3) indeterminate sentences. By 1901, twenty states had parole statutes and by 1944, every jurisdiction in the United States had some form of parole release and indeterminate sentencing (http://law.jrank.org/pages/1817/Probation-Parole-History-Goals-Decision-Making-Origins-probation-parole.html).

However, it is not without critics. The first major criticism that led some states to abandon the indeterminate sentence and parole was ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses some of the major criticisms that led some states to abandon the indeterminate sentence and parole. It explores the debate on the abolition of indeterminate sentence and parole. Research validated.

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