EXTRA-INSTITUTIONAL TREATMENT OF CRIMINALS
The liberty to go higher than we are is given only when we have fulfilled amply the duty of our present sphere. -- BEECHER
All the provision for labor and wages in penal institutions, and for education and sanitation, for religious life, and all other devices that have been created within the institution are so many attempts by the authorities to develop suitable social attitudes among prisoners. They are safeguards against the deteriorative effects of unmitigated incarceration.
Certain extra-institutional treatment has been generally provided to be interposed between the close of a period of actual confinement within the walls and final unconditional release from custody. This is parole or conditional release. There is now no one of the United States of America that does not employ parole in some if not all cases as a final measure before unconditional release.1 It is ordinarily coupled with a modified form of indeterminate sentence wherein the trial court decrees that imprisonment shall be for not less than a minimum term nor greater than a maximum. When the prisoner is approaching the end of the minimum period he automatically comes before a Board of Parole, for instance, that has been appointed by the Governor of the State. This board considers every case individually, having before it the prisoner's behavior record in the institution, his prospects for suitable employment outside, and (in the most progressive jurisdictions) data concerning his mental and physical health. If the conclusion of the enquiry is favorable to him, the prisoner is recommended to the Governor for release into the care of a parole officer to whom, at stated intervals, he is required to report. And it is the function of the officer to help in every way possible to keep him in suitable employment, out of contact with demoralizing situations during the parole period, that extends usually over____________________