Sunday, September 7, 2014

Life on Parole

Recently I just finished an Administration of Justice course where we discussed the release of criminals into society or what is commonly known as parole.  New York was the first state to develop parole and has set a precedent that many states continue to follow today.  Parole releases offenders back into society after a parole board determines they have rehabilitated from the convicted crime or their determinate sentence is complete.  For the most part prisoners are released prior to serving the entire prison sentence.

As you are reading this you may wonder why I am discussing parole.  I have never been in jail or committed a crime, but when we touched on the concept of parole I could strongly relate.  Often times parolees struggle reentering into society upon release from prison.  Simple task can become incredibly overwhelming and a solid support system is often lacking.  Many times offenders will fall back into committing crimes simply so that they can return to the comfortable structure prison provides.

Although I clearly did not have my freedoms taken away and I made the choice to live in a controlled environment I can identify with the issues faced with a complete change in lifestyle.  Sticking to a regimented schedule and living a disciplined lifestyle at Olympic Training Center has made it difficult for me to transition back into a ‘normal’ functioning society.  I feel very fortunate that I have a supportive and understanding family.  I also have weekly check ins with my current make shift ‘parole officer’ that has helped me to find some direction.  I am hopeful that this transition will help for me to be empathetic with whatever career path I choose.