Back in the Day: August 2, 1938


POSTED: Saturday, August 01, 2009

”;Back in the Day,”; appearing every Sunday, takes a look at articles that ran on this date in history in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Hawaii's oldest continuously published daily newspaper. The items appear verbatim, so don't blame us today for yesteryear's bad grammar.

Parole system here is saving $350,000

The much criticized parole system saves the taxpayers of the territory $350,000 a year.

Maintaining a criminal in Oahu prison costs the territory $427 a year. Supervising a criminal on parole costs $15.48 a year.

The saving to the territory is even greater than $350,000. If all 565 paroled criminals in the islands were placed behind prison walls again, the community would have to support their wives and children.

In New York the costs were $500 a year in prison and $56.74 a year on parole in 1936.

Money is not the first consideration. Protection of the public is the prime object of parole. Advocates of parole maintain it is better to release a criminal before the end of his entire term and keep him under close supervision of parole officers.

Suddenly turning him loose at the end of his full time when authorities have no power over him, is dangerous, it is said.

Statistics of the prison board prove that only between four or five out of every 100 convicts released on parole violate their trust while still on parole.

The ones who break the law after they are discharged from parole because their maximum terms have expired are not counted.

The public does not understand what parole is. Few persons really know the difference between parole and probation.

Minimum and maximum sentences and “;good time”; are vaguely understood.

Parole is the conditional release of a prisoner under the supervision of a parole officer after he has served part of his sentence in a prison or reformatory. In Hawaii parole is granted by the governor on the recommendation of the prison board.