Parole Misconduct Board
Parole refers to the conditional release of a lawbreaker who has served in the prison for a particular period of time. The law regulates the inmate to ensure he does not cause any harm to the community. A convict must have a clean record throughout his prison service to qualify for a parole. The prisoner promises to stay at a particular location, and do legal work as per the agreement with the parole board. He must avoid associating with criminals or any illegal job throughout the supervision period. The victim is supposed to report to the officers in charge regularly. In case the parolee does not keep his word, he is imprisoned again to continue with his jail sentence in prison. The parole board has the mandate to release and supervise prisoners who get the parole. Its leadership, ethics and management have an important role in the justice system, security and the entire community (Buhlungu, 2007).
The Parole Board governs the release of eligible lawbreakers serving imprecise sentences. The board also determines post-release supervision of inmates serving distinct sentences. This is achieved through the board’s wise decisions which promote public safety, objectivity and fairness. This board cares for the victims as well as the members of the entire community. This includes family members of the offended, the offender and employees in the criminal justice system. The parole board has specific members who conduct release of prisoners after a considerable investigation are done after a specified period of time depending on the number of prisoners as well as the crimes in record. They can be held monthly, yearly or after a couple of months or years. The members conduct individual interview with each and every parole eligible convict. In case an inmate is denied a release during the official interviews, the board plans another day to give the inmate another chance for a hearing. The Parole Board is regulated by the role and can by no means conduct a mischief.
The parole board participates in victim conference and offender conference. The conferences are held in each month prior to the victim’s release. The board provides the victims and their representatives as well as the offender’s family and their representative a chance to air their views. The families and their representatives have an opportunity to predict the inmate’s behavior after the release. This helps the Parole Board in decision making. Parole hearings are usually publicized to ensure the public trust the activity. However, institutional parole deliberations and hearings are not eligible to this rule. The victims, their family members and representatives should be present to witness the activity (Conrad, 1978).
Parole Board accepts clemency applications in form of reprieve, commutation or pardon. All these applications are examined and reviewed so as the board can come up with the correct clemency propriety. The board can forward the clemency to the Governor who has the mandate to grant executive clemency. The Parole Board is responsible of imposing special specifications for an inmate who is already approved for release. This is especially in special occasions which the Board feels require caution such as drug testing and treatment conditions. The board can also add justifiable conditions if need arises.
Parole Board struggles to ensure systematic and fair participation in all decision making levels. The board focuses on clarity, timelessness and consistency. It seeks to encourage flourishing offender reentry in the criminal justice system. This is only possible through close supervision to support compliance, intervene, address behavior violation and acknowledge accomplishments. The board serves victims, offenders, community members as well as other parties in the criminal justice system. It promotes objective and fair decision making which helps all stakeholders to understand and participate in its legislative duties. This way, the board helps the Correction and rehabilitation Department to gain transparency and trust from the public. This promotes public confidence in all its processes (Clear & Cole, 2003).
The Parole Board has a set of principles and codes of conduct which guide them throughout the services. Every parole board member is expected to maintain and achieve high competence levels. This is achieved through work experience, training and education. Members should perform duties and tasks efficiently and promptly. Additionally, every parole board member is expected to observe the ethics of personality and professionalism. This means that, the members shall maintain professional and personal integrity. A member is not expected to leak any information to the outsiders regarding the board proceedings. A member is not allowed to influence the board’s decisions for personal gain or in favor of a person or agency. Members are expected to remain honest and report any fraudulent action conducted by another member to the respective bodies.
Parole Board ethics expects members to maintain high levels of professionalism. Therefore, every member has to be careful and avoid offending the decorum and dignity of the board. This means that, every member has to respect the proceedings of the board, and respects all individuals appearing in front of the board irrespective of their offence, origin, religion, race or geographical background. Every member has to avoid impropriety as this can affect the member’s fitness in the board. Impropriety conduct includes, but not limited to misuse of public rank, dishonest and violence. It is ethical for a parole board member to report or advise respective authority in case they notice any board member disrespecting the parole ethics. This may include misrepresentation, dishonesty, deceit or fraud. Failure to report misconduct is misconduct on its own.
Ethically, the parole board should improve the justice system by serving the public. Every member is subject to this ethics. Therefore, every member should be sensitive to public need s and promote development programs which address the needs. This means that members have to strive to upgrade the criminal justice system which fights for fairness and justice for all. Confidentiality is an ethics and a principle in parole board. This helps all members to keep confidential information which they acquire from their positions. All members have to abide top confidentiality principle, and should by no means reveal information to an individual, security officer or even the state. Information acquired from the board should not be used for personal gain or the advantage or disadvantage of an individual, a group or agency. The court is the only body which can make such information to be revealed under rare circumstances. Therefore, it is unethical for a board member to discuss the Board or its proceeding with anyone.
Board members should avoid arguments of conflict. A member is expected to reveal possible conflicts to the board before any proceedings or immediately after noticing the possibility. The members should have public interests in their mind, and should not try to compromise loyalties and influences (Barkan & Bryjak, 2004). The member’s personal properties, businesses or family relationship should by no means affect the member’s professionalism. They have to remain loyal to the entire public, the government and their personality. Conflicts may arise in the board as a result of a member’s family relationship, friendship, previous employer and business interest among other causes. In this case, the member should notify the board, and avoid taking action in decision making. Members should remain honest and offer sufficient information regarding conflicts even when personal interests are affected.
The parole Board has sole authority to release and supervise offenders. It does this under jurisdiction which promotes justice. The board has to consider fair punishment; offender’s rate of recidivism as well as his conduct in prison for the time has been there. The main guiding principle of the board is to apply just punishment to the inmate, and protect the entire public from more danger. The board carries out its mission and achieves its objectives through application of policies and guidelines specified in each case. It gets information from various sources including the offender, prison officials, the prosecutor, sentencing judge, presentence report and the offended victim. The board is responsible for parole functions concerning eligible prisoners. The board conducts hearing with parolees and revocation hearings for mandatory release or alleged parole.
The board conducts the initial hearing within the first three months before the release date. This is an important step as it helps the prisoners to maintain good conduct in the prison for them to be granted the parole. This makes the process to be transparent to the prisoners, their family and representatives as well as the offended and their representatives. Interim hearings precede the initial hearings before the final decision is made. The board encourages voluntary participation which keeps this superior program modest (Cavadino & Dignan, 2006).
In conclusion, parole is the international mechanism which allows prisoners to be released to the community if they have been behaving well throughout their imprisonment. The prisoners promise to remain in a specified area where they can be easily supervised. They have to visit the supervisors regularly and avoid criminal company. The Parole Board is responsible for the release and supervision of these prisoners. They make decisions on who to release after critical analysis of the prisoners record. The parole board leadership, management and ethics guide it towards their services to the public. It promotes the justice system and maintains fairness to all.