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One of today's most hotly debated topics in the criminal justice field is whether or not individual states should abandon the parole system. Many people feel it is time to do away with parole, while others are fighting for its survival. As with any controversial change, there are pros and cons to both sides of the argument, all of which are very convincing. The basic arguments for and against the abolition of the parole system at the state level can be easily defined.

One of the strongest arguments against the destruction of the parole system is the overpopulation problem in most prisons. Since the early 1980's, the population of inmates in correctional institutions has grown astronomically. Between 1986 and 1991, prisons have seen a
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119 of the subjects had failed their urine tests, and 27% had already been re-incarcerated, only after the first year. A study by Vaillant started in 1973 followed similar subjects for a 20-year period and found 91% of those released went back to drug use in less than 1 year. In 1981, a study performed by Desmond found drug use in 66% of parolees after only 1 week of freedom, and 94% after 1 year. These offenders play a huge role in the burdening of the prison system. Drug offenders accounted for a 44% increase in prison population between 1986 and 1991.

Judging by these statistics, drug abusers, both violent and non-violent, are most at risk to relapse. The reason for this is quite simple. Most of these inmates released on parole never complete any form of rehabilitation program. Proponents of the parole system argue that rehabilitation programs and their success rates make parole a realistic solution. Indeed, there are many great programs that have been started in recent years. For example, the BOP's drug abuse treatment program (DAP), which was started in 1986, has met with astounding results. Parolees who successfully completed this program faced a mere 3.3% chance of being re-arrested in the first 6 months after release, and a much lower 20% relapse into drug use. These people faced a 73% lower chance of being re-arrested compared to those who did not complete this program. In theory this sounds like the solution to everyone's problems. However, what the many

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