The Generosity of Obtaining Parole Among Offenders in South Africa
Parole is an integral part of the penal system and where an offender has demonstrated by his conduct that he has been rehabilitated and is not a danger to society there is no reason why he should not benefit from the system. However, not much is known about the perception of the general populace on the parole system Therefore, this study explores the belief of the community on the parole system of South Africa.This secondary data analysis involved the 2014/2015 South African Victims of Crime Survey from Statistics South Africa. Sample size was 24,701 HHs (n=24,024 individuals). Using interviewer-administered questionnaire, information obtained included socio-demographic data, experience of household crime, perception about the prison system, satisfaction with police services and trust in the SAPS. Data analysis included descriptive statistics. Of the households surveyed, 56.7% (n=12,964) agreed that prisoners get parole too easily while 70.1% (n = 17,124) did not agree that it is easy to escape from prisons. A higher population of those who agreed that prisons were just colleges for crooks agreed that prisoners get parole too easily than those who did not agree (73.3% vs. 37.1%; p<0.001). The percentage of those who agreed that prisoners get parole too easily was lower among those willing to welcome a former prisoner back into their community than those who were not willing to welcome them (51.6% vs. 65.5%; p<0.001).In areas where violent crimes such as murder and sexual assault occurring mostly, people agreed that parole were given too easily. However, violent crimes such as street robbery and mob justice occurring in such areas did not have any effect on people agreeing or disagreeing that prisoners get parole too easily. The findings show that most South Africans believe that prisoners get parole easily.
Keywords - Crime, Parole, Prison. Prisoners, South Africa,