The Negative Effects Of Discretion In The Criminal Justice System

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The negative views on parole generally stem from societies acknowledged opinions developed from the influence of media. Their conceptions and views are vastly influence by the media, which is generally occupied by cases where an individual is released on parole and has re-offended (Bartels, 2013; Sparks, 2001). Due to the media’s influence the notion of parole having effect on the re-offending rate is widely debated. It’s a concept that is highly circumstantial and the outcome is dependent on a vast range of factors, not just the parole program. Jones, Hua, Donnelly, McHutchinson and Heggie (2006) conducted a study that explored the patterns and trends of re-offending among 2,793 offenders whom were placed on parole between 2001 and 2002. Their …show more content…
From the front liners, the police to the use of discretion in the decision making process of whether an offender should be granted or denied parole. It is this factor which has influence on whether parole is perceived as being over or underutilised, this factor that gets represented through the media and this factor that determines the safety of the community. As example of the perception of parole being altered by the discretion of the parole board, is in the Jill Meagher case, where Adrian Bayley a prior convicted offender whom was on parole, raped and murdered Jill Meagher in September 2012 (Bartels, 2013). The blame for Adrian re-offending was place on the adult parole board, Adrian, himself mentioned to police when he was arrested, that he had felt that the board should not have released him two years prior (Bartels, 2013). Although this particular case could be represented as a mistake of the adult parole board in Victoria, there are a majority of successful cases of parole that the media does not display to the public which influences the perception of over utilising parole. In Victoria between 2007 and 2008, there were 1,010 parole orders which were successfully completed in comparison to the 434 that were cancelled for breaching their set conditions (Naylor & Schmidt, 2010). This result displays the effectiveness and successfulness that parole does offer to those offenders who utilise the program effectively. As a comparison within Australia, the high rates of inmates within the prison could represent that the criminal justice system may be under utilising the parole program, whereas the high recidivism rates could portray that it is over utilised. However in reference to the discretion above and the examples explained, it is difficult to determine which offender will re-offend, even with all prior factors such as history and behaviour being

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