Problemsin the Probation System
The probation system offers an alternative rehabilitation systemwhere the offenders can seek help while they are still in touch withthe community. In this case, the current system has been flawed withvarious problems that have undermined the way that it works. Forinstance, the system has been understaffed yet, a huge number ofoffenders are being released. In the process, the supervisors end uphaving huge caseloads that they have to deal with. As a result, theofficers do not allocate enough time on the culprits and the scenarioincreases the chances of the culprits engaging in other crimes andbeing taken back to prison. This essay will reveal how the fewerofficers, massive caseloads and the lower wages are a problem thathas undermined the efficiency of the probation system.
In this case, the probation approach is flawed since the governmentspends fewer funds while dealing with the released inmates. Inparticular, the fiscal year 2008 showed that the government paysabout $3.42 in dealing with the probationer (Walshe). On the otherhand, the same budget spent around $78.95 to supervise an inmate thatis in prison (Walshe). The little investment in the system hasresulted in the officers being frustrated since they are receivinglow pay, yet, they will have to deal with multiple activities. Forinstance, the government expects their 24-hour availability toaddress any emergencies involving their clients. Instead, thepaycheck does not reflect the number of tasks that they are supposedto handle in a day. The high caseloads are another problem, and theofficers are expected to manage each of them. For instance, inMaryland, a probation officer was scheduled to deal with a total ofabout 166 to 256 offenders (Rudes et al., 69). Handling such a hugenumber of people might be cumbersome, and the released inmates willnot get the assistance that they should have. The fact that some ofthe culprits do have minimal supervision increases their chances ofengaging in other criminal activities.
In particular, the problem with the probation system has been aresult of the government believing that the incarceration is moreinstrumental than other alternative ways of rehabilitation in thenation. It is clear that the government has invested more funds inthe prison system since they believe that it is more viable inassisting the inmates to change their lives (Rudes, 69). In reality,the other correctional facilities are also quite helpful, and theprobation or even the parole system often comes in handy. Hence, thegovernment pays the supervisors fewer wages while they are expectedwith the huge caseloads. Instead, more offenders are being releasedfrom prison, and that creates a problem for the current probationofficers that are supposed to deal with the huge number of theculprits (Rudes, 72). Perhaps, overcoming these challenges will beone step in dealing with the problem and ensuring that the system isefficient. The government has ignored other alternativerehabilitation institutions that might be helpful to the drug addictsthat might be unable to counseling or even medication required in theprison system. In fact, incarceration focuses on punishing theinmates, but, it engages in less correctional purposes that they aresupposed to undertake.
The problem will be solved when the government decides to increasethe budget set aside for the probation system. More important, thegovernment should increase the number of probation supervisors thathave to deal with the high number of offenders being released fromthe prison. In fact, the inmates that are on probation require properguidance to reduce the re-offending cases that might arise when theyare left without enough officers (Shaw et al., 88). Apart from that,the supervisors are supposed to have higher wages that correspond tothe amount of work that they have to deal with. In this case, theseofficers even risk their lives since they are dealing with dangerousculprits that might even harm them. Hence, a significant salary andother rewards will motivate them to undertake their duties smoothlywithout any difficulties instead (Shaw et al., 92). The officersshould handle a few cases at a time. However, the huge caseloads makeit hard to supervise the offenders, and that undermines theobjectives that they are supposed to undertake. A probation officeris expected to deal with a few inmates at a time to ensure that theyget the proper assistance and guidance that will minimize the chancesof the people re-offending.
In conclusion, the probation system faces the problem of fewersupervision officers that receive fewer wages, and huge caseloadsthat they are supposed to handled. In reality, the supervisors areexpected to have enough time where they will deal with offenders andensure that they will offer them the assistance needed. In this case,the problems even increase the chances of the society having morere-offenders since they do not get the proper guidance that will keepthem away from criminal activities. Higher wages will motivate theofficers to assist the released culprits and ensure that they enterinto the society quite easily. In a scenario where the supervisorshave to deal with fewer offenders will be quite useful since theywill not have a huge burden to deal with. In summary, the governmentis supposed to handle the problems and ensure that the probation isanother viable rehabilitation approach that will help them.
Rudes, Danielle S., Jill Viglione, and Courtney M. Porter. "Usingquality improvement models in correctional organizations." Fed.Probation 77 (2013): 69.
Shaw, Jake, et al. "Developing probation staff competency forworking with high risk of harm offenders with personality disorder:an evaluation of the pathways project." Personality andMental Health 6.2 (2012): 87-96.
Walshe, Sadhbh. “Probation and parole: a study in criminal justicedysfunction.” The Guardian, 26 April 2012,https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/apr/26/probation-parole-study-dysfunction,Accessed 16 Dec 2016.