The Parole Board is the initiator of the parole process. As the minimum term that the court imposes comes to an end, the prisoner comes into contact with the board. The Earliest Release Date (ERD) is the parole eligibility date. A Parole Eligibility Report is written about eight months before the date and forwarded to the Board for review. The review includes an assessment of a number of factors, relating to the prisoner to decide as to whether or not the prisoner should be set free on parole (Arnott & Creighton, 2014). Parole cannot be granted until the parole board is assured without any doubt that the prisoner is not a danger to the society when released. Hence, the circumstances and facts such as the social and mental attitudes of the prisoner should be evaluated before the decision is made.
The process includes an interview with the inmates being evaluated for parole eligibility. The interview includes an investigation of factors such as criminal history, previous parole or probation adjustment, the prisoner’s conduct, and plans after the parole among others. After the interview, there is a voting process by the members of the board to make the final decision. A majority vote is the basis for the parole decision. A three-member panel makes the decision. If the prisoner is proven to be eligible for parole, he or she is released to the community. However, this is done under a Parole Agent who is responsible for supervision of the released Prisoner for a particular period (Arnott & Creighton, 2014). The board sets the conditions that the individual should comply with upon release. Failure to comply with the conditions leads to immediate re-arresting of the prisoner.
Arnott, H., & Creighton, S. (2014). Parole Board hearings: Law and practice. Legal Action Group.
Community Corrections Officers
Community corrections officers are the focus of the study by Faith E. Lutze. The role of the community corrections officers within the criminal justice system is thoroughly investigated, particularly what they can achieve as street-level boundary spanners. From this point of view, street-level boundary spanners are the individuals who are able to cut across the conventional boundaries of professions through effective communication and collaboration. They work towards mutual benefits of bridging the gap in service, building trust, and removing the barriers to service (Lutze, 2013). In the event that the prisoners are entering back to the society after they have served their time in prison, it is a serious challenge for the criminal justice system to ensure that the process is smooth and that the interests of the former prisoners and the society are taken into account.
The community corrections officers are best suited to play the role of street-level boundary spanners when it comes to ensuring smooth reentry of prisoners into the community. The officers are best placed to work as the important link between the prison system and community. They can work with the criminal justice system and the community collaboratively and through effective communication to ensure that the inmates being released from the prison are reentering the community in a safe and effective manner. Policy-making in the event of reentry is critical, and the input of the officers is crucial. The officers have an effective understanding of the community in which the prisoners are entering and also understand the criminal justice system (Lutze, 2013). Hence, they are able to work with the system and with the members of community for the common good of society and the prisoners entering the community after serving their term.
Lutze, F. E. (2013). Professional lives of community corrections officers: The invisible side of reentry. SAGE Publications.