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Parole Discussion

Offender Smith is serving a six-to-ten year sentence for forcible rape and aggravated assault. While he and his then-girlfriend were high on cocaine and PCP, she refused his sexual advances and he brutally raped her and punched her in the face. This crime left her physically and emotionally damaged. One of the punches resulted in minor nerve damage on the left side of her face. Smith has served the minimum of six years necessary to be eligible for his first parole hearing. He has no prior convictions or arrests and has been a model prisoner, completing an education program and a sex offender treatment program while in prison. Smith also routinely attended Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings while incarcerated. He has no institutional disciplinary infractions. While he was in prison, his mother died, leaving him her house in his hometown, the same town where the crime was committed. His former employer, John Doe Construction Company, offered Smith his old job back when he is released from prison. His victim and their two children remain in the home they all shared at the time of the crime. She has not had any contact with him during his incarceration and has not let him see the children. In her victim statement, she says that she is fearful of his reaction when he gets out of prison. She fears retaliation and revenge. 

 

Smith’ s release plan includes moving into his late mother’s house, working for John Doe, paying court-ordered child support, seeking further sex-offender treatment in the community, attending NA meetings, and completing an anger management course. In the plan, Smith also stated he “is sorry and feels terrible about what happened.” Smith claimed he has no animosity toward his former girlfriend and wants desperately to gain a relationship with his children, now ages 7 and 8. A parole officer would supervise him if this prisoner were released.

Discussion question:

 

1)Imagine you are a parole board member with the task of determining whether to release this offender and, if so, under what conditions?   In making your decision, you may want to consider the likelihood of recidivism, the offender’s impact on the victim, institutional behavior, and the release plan developed.   Remember the core categories.

 

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