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Expectations of parolees can be overwhelming, unrealistic

Expectations of parolees can be overwhelming, unrealistic

When someone in Minneapolis is arrested, convicted and sent to jail, the expectation is that when they make parole, that they will remain out of trouble. Unfortunately, the terms of parole can be incredibly difficult to follow, especially for those people who do not have family members to help them or a home in which to live. And if a parolee cannot fulfill the terms of his or her parole, he or she will be arrested and sent back to jail.

One man who was arrested for and convicted of theft in Colorado was recently released on parole. Although he tried to do everything that he could to avoid going back to jail, he was eventually arrested again and sent to a detention center. Though he was not serving time in Minnesota, this man’s story is not unique: parole is often difficult.

Imagine being released from prison, told to find a job and a home. With no money, no means of transportation and a criminal record, it can be incredibly difficult. While the state may help with some things, at least initially, the assistance is short-lived. Parole officers have very firm deadlines for finding both work and a permanent place to live. If offenders can’t meet those deadlines, they are at risk of being arrested again.

On top of all of this, many parolees are subject to frequent alcohol and drug tests, which can seriously cut into the time it takes to find a job. If the parolee has been lucky enough to find a job, frequently explaining to a supervisor that he or she needs to leave work for a drug test may hinder the parolee’s ability to build a solid post-jail foundation.

Source: The Denver Post, “Colorado parolees: Without job, family or home, recently released inmate struggles to find way,” Karen E. Crummy, Sept. 24, 2013

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