Posts Tagged ‘parole officers’

get out of jailIn my opinion, the most critical time for a man or a woman are the months right after they get out of prison. Many have little money and, of course, they know many easy ways to get money.

These people, who are used to a very regimented life, wake up one morning and no one is telling them what to do. Many spend their first months in a halfway house, which in some cases is good and in some cases is a disaster. As one inmate told me, if you want drugs, go to such and such a halfway house.

How about the parole officer who follows an inmate on the outside? Many of them have way too many cases. In theory, a parole officer on parole officerthe outside is a good idea – someone to care about an inmate, to advise, to be a mentor. What it comes down to, however, is the inmate going to an office, chatting with (or lying to) the parole officer for a few minutes and then leaving.

I had the opportunity to sit in with an inmate and his parole officer on their first interview after the man got out of prison. It was horrible. The man had a lot of things going for him, great self-confidence and an intelligent mind. For an hour the parole officer told him what a scumbag he was, how she was going to send him back to prison, how she knew he was going to screw up, how she knew he was going to go back into crime, on and on for an hour.

I stayed with the case for many months and twice she tried to send the inmate back, but her supervisor overruled her. I suspected she had some kind of personal problem, which she was taking out on the inmate. Sadly, that happens a lot in our prison system.



These months are important. Can’t something be done? Take some staff who have little to do in the prison, retrain them, and retrain them again with some psychology and again with how to help people change.

When someone is on parole, they are already standing behind us in the supermarket. We in the community have to help those who have just been released. I’ve helped many citizens go into prison and help the men in there, but I have failed to get people involved with those who have been released.

Many men and women are afraid of the world that confronts them. They understand prison and know how to live there. Their friends are there. We have to help them live on the outside.

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Get EvenWhile a person is in prison, they suffer through a lot of subtle and not-so-subtle insults from some staff. They are called socio-paths and worse, their file (which they can look at) reads like a horror novel. Pages and pages of evil and not one page of the good.

They soon find out there is no appeal process in prison. Oh, there is one, but you will be stooped over and walking with a cane before it’s resolved.

While you are in prison, you just have to swallow and take it. You are a number, you are called an “Offender,” even when we are all offenders. You are caged like a wild animal.

I have heard story after story of abuse, of contradictory orders, e. g. Guard A says “Go back to your cell.” Guard B says, “Get out of your cell.”

How do you get even for all this abuse?

When an inmate is ready to leave prison, there’s one message I tell him or her. “Don’t come back.” That’s the best possible way to get even. The prison system depends on criminals. Without criminals, no jobs. It’s as simple as that. By staying out of prison, the person gets even in the most effective way.

I know this is not a noble sentiment, but often it works better than the usual, “Be good.” And, of course, the prison Dollar razor wiresystem hasn’t even begun to help a man or woman when they walk out the door. This is the most critical time of all and there’s nothing for them except a crabby, overworked parole officer and a few programs. Where is the one-on-one contact? Where is the effective job help? Where is the community support (which should have started in prison)?

One might think the prison system wants the inmate back.

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