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Disadvantages of Probation & Parole

Updated February 21, 2017

Probation and parole is intended to assist convicts integrate themselves into society to become productive citizens. The problems surrounding this admirable goal arise from the difficulty offenders often have in adjusting to the harsh reality of finding jobs with a criminal record, sustaining healthy relationships, and avoiding past behaviours that landed them behind bars in the first place.

Community Stigma

According to the Jrank website, offender on probation or parole often face harsh reactions from members of his community, who may feel that convicts shouldn't be allowed back into society to potentially commit other crimes. This can place strain on an offender's home life as he attempts to adjust to life outside of prison.

Few Job Prospects

All people on probation or parole must find gainful employment to meet financial expectations. Offenders must disclose criminal record and probation or parole status to potential employers. But most employers would rather not keep an employee with a criminal record on the payroll, forcing offenders on probation or parole to find work in low-paying jobs. To combat this problem, states like Tennessee now offer work opportunity tax credits to employers that hire workers who are on probation or parole.

Restrictions and Rules

Many individuals placed on probation or parole have difficulty adjusting to the regimented lifestyle that parole or probation restrictions demand. Offenders must be home at a certain time of night, must attend meetings with parole or probation officers, and may not engage in certain activities, such as alcohol consumption. This can prove to be too much for some individuals.

Inconsistency in Monitoring

Probation and parole officers have a wide latitude in determining rules violations, which leads to inconsistency. A probation officer may rule that missing a therapy session is a violation and send an offender back to jail, whereas another officer may simply ask for an explanation for the absence.

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About the Author

Jonathan Lister has been a writer and content marketer since 2003. His latest book publication, "Bullet, a Demos City Novel" is forthcoming from J Taylor Publishing in June 2014. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Shippensburg University and a Master of Fine Arts in writing and poetics from Naropa University.