Probation & Parole
Coatesville Fire Dept, PA
The most common form of criminal sentencing in the United States these days is probation. Conditions of probation and parole are primary factors that have an effect on a probationers post lock-up life. When determining conditions of probation and parole, the offender’s background plays a very vital role in the determination. A probation or parole officer has four functions that helps them figure out if probation and/or parole will be effective for each offender. “Supervision of sentenced probationers or released parolees is the most active stage of the probation/parole process” (Schmalleger, 2014). Applying these four functions to the situation of the Coatesville Fire Department in Coatesville, PA is no different. The first function of the probation or parole work is the presentence investigation. This investigation delves into all aspects of the offender’s background. The information is gathered to provide a sentencing decision. The legal information that is provided in the report includes any juvenile or adult record that the offender has and would include probation history if any. The official version of the offense that has been committed is included and any plea bargain information. If there are any pending cases against the offender is also included. The other information that is included in the presentence investigation is the probation officers recommendations, whether the offender has any gang affiliations, any background or ties to the community. The offender’s substance abuse history, physical and mental health history, financial and employment circumstances, and education history are covered. And lastly, the victim’s impact statement is included along with any marital or military history. Then the probation/parole officer evaluates and summarizes all this information. There tends to be more extralegal information contained in the report and this is included so as not to suggest any sentencing inequalities toward offenders with lower socioeconomic status or less ties to the community. “The use of extralegal factors becomes especially important in that the PSIR identifies needs related to the defendant’s criminal behavior for future treatment intervention services” (Alarid, 2010). All of this would factor in the Coatesville Fire Case when looking at the difference in the suspects. Suspect number 1 is a homeless man with no links to the area, but very possibly has a history of either substance abuse or mental problems. Suspect number 2 is the volunteer firefighter with great links to the community. Number 3 is the wayward teenager, quite possibly with history of abuse. Suspect number 4 is an alcoholic, very obviously with problems at all levels and the fifth and final suspect is the man hearing voices in his head. This man clearly has mental problems that would factor in. The second function of the probation and parole officer is the intake procedure. This would probably include a dispute-settlement process during which the probation officer works with the victim and the defendant to resolve the main complaint before the sentencing proceeds. Thirdly, the needs assessment is done with the probationer in mind. This could include drug/alcohol treatment, psychiatric evaluation/treatment, anger management treatment, family counseling, job training/employment assistance, housing assistance, and intensive supervision. The conditions suggested will help the offender to turn his/her life around permanently. This change obviously only can happen if the offender is a willing participant in the above stated programs. The results of a needs assessment will guide subsequent decisions, including the design, implementation and evaluation of projects and programs that will lead to achieving the desired results from probation or parole. This is a very important...
References: Alarid, L., & Montemayor, C. (2010). Attorney Perspectives and Decisions on the Presentence Investigation Report: A Research Note. Criminal Justice Policy Review, (21), 513-516. doi:10.117/0887403409344166
Schmalleger, . (2014). Criminal Justice Today: An Introductory Text for the 21st Century, 13th Edition. [VitalSource Bookshelf version].
Retrieved from http://online.vitalsource.com/books/9781269731195
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