What is the real purpose for paroling a prisoner before they serve their complete sentence? A former state attorney general told me that there are a number of reasons for parole, but the bottom line is to help alleviate overcrowding in jails and prisons. I then asked him how many more crimes were committed by people out on parole and he told me the rate was quite high and that was one of the negatives about the parole program.
I recall one case some years back when a man that had been paroled only a month had broken into a home with the intent to burglarize it. The mom was home at the time and when she confronted the parolee, he beat her to death with a skillet in kitchen. The mom’s 8 year old daughter witnessed the brutal attack from her hiding place in the livingroom. The trauma of watching her mother being beaten to death and hearing her mom’s screams affected the girl for years to come.
Ten years after her mom’s murder, I worked with that girl who told me what had happened and how it had affected her. She could not sleep with the lights off and she panicked at any sound she heard at home. Thinking a dog would help her feel more secure, she got herself a German shepherd. However, she had to get rid of the dog because he would move around her house at night and she would panic at the sound of the dog’s footsteps.
She told me that the man who had killed her mother had been in prison for armed robbery, assault and battery, and rape. The parole board believed the man when he said he had changed and released him on parole. He had checked in with his parole officer once and then missed the next three appointments before breaking into her house and killing her mom. She told me that she held the parole board to blame for her mom’s death, but that there was nothing she could do legally to make them accountable for what they did.
On the news this morning, I heard of a series of car break-ins that were committed by a man out on parole. Several days ago, there was a shooting that killed one man and wounded another and guess what, the shooter was out on parole.
According to one report, only 45% of parolees successfully complete their supervised parole. That means that 55% don’t and generally end up back in jail. In 2010, Glendale, California police experienced a spike in property crimes. The spike occurred just after a number of prisoners were released on parole under a state program to reduce the prison population.
If you do a search online, you will find dozens and dozens of reports of crimes committed by men and women who were paroled from jail early. In most cases, they are paroled to alleviate prison overcrowding.
Here is one statistic that you never see reported: 100% of the crimes committed by parolees could have been prevented if the criminals were still in prison where they belonged. I have never grasped the concept of sentencing someone to 10 years in prison and then letting them out in 2 ½ years. If they are sentenced to 10 years, they should serve 10 years. If they are sentenced to 50 years, they should serve 50 years, not 17 years and then released on parole.
As far as prison overcrowding is concerned, pack them in the cells or put them in tent cities like Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio did. He was ordered by the courts to turn prisoners free early because of overcrowding. He refused and instead built the famous Tent City at a minimal cost compared to building more jails.
However, I don’t see our modern bleeding heart liberal system doing away with parole. Therefore, I suggest that the members of the parole board assume some legal liability for every prisoner they opt to release on parole prior to the full term of their sentence. If they realize that they will be held accountable and face legal consequences for those prisoners they parole, I suspect that there would be a lot fewer parolees out on the streets than there are today.
Therefore, I propose two options to the problems created by parolees: 1) Completely eliminate the parole system; 2) Make parole board members legally liable for those whom they parole.