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Parole is a conditional release from prison into society allowing an individual to begin the reintegration process while continuing to be watched and controlled by a supervising authority. In many ways, parole is an extension of incarceration. Parole follows an offender’s prison sentence and serves two goals: (1) reintegrating the offender back into society as a contributing member and (2) controlling any potential threats to the larger society by keeping the individual under careful government surveillance. These goals contribute to the decision-making process at each step in the parole process, from eligibility to revocation, and require a delicate balancing between society’s security and an offender’s individual rights.

At various times in the history of parole, balancing the twin goals of parole has proven difficult and ...

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