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APRIL 21 (calendar day, APRIL 25), 1930.-Ordered to be printed

Mr. HEBERT, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the

following

REPORT

(To accompany H. R. 3975)

The Committee on the Judiciary, to which was referred the bill (H. R. 3975) to amend sections 726 and 727 of title 18, United States Code, with reference to Federal probation officers, and to add a new section thereto, has given full consideration to the same and now reports favorably thereon with the recommendation that the bill pass with the following amendment:

Page 3, line 23, beginning with the word “exercise" strike out through the word "shall” in line 25.

Included in the group of bills presented by the committee to meet the exigencies of the Federal prison situation is a measure to strengthen and to make more workable the Federal probation law.

In many of the States probation has long since passed the experimental stage, and has demonstrated its value as an instrument in progressive penal treatment. The arguments in behalf of probation are too well known to require exhaustive comment. Briefly, it may be expected that a carefully developed probation system will (1) provide the court with an investigating agency for the better understanding of the cases that come before it; (2) salvage many of the persons who come in conflict with the criminal law without subjecting them to prison commitment; (3) provide an adequate means for collecting fines and restitution. The average cost of a prison commitment for a year is $300. The average cost for good probation supervision is $30. It is the experience of good probation offices that the amounts collected in fines, and thus saved to the Government, are far in excess of the total cost of the system.

Federal probation authorized in 1925 is still in its infancy. Those most interested in its future development have embodied in the bill, which the committee now reports, certain enabling amendments to the existing law. The principal change suggested permits the judge to appoint the confidential agent who is to act as probation officer, subject to approval as to his salary by the Attorney General. Another important amendment allows the Attorney General to utilize the services of Federal probation officers in the supervision of persons released on parole from Federal institutions. At present there are eight salaried probation officers. It is expected that upon the passage of this legislation that appropriations will be made available for augmenting this force in the various Federal judicial districts. While it is not contemplated that probation will in any sense become a substitute for imprisonment, it may be fairly contended that a certain proportion of prisoners, perhaps 10 to 15 per cent, which the judge is now obliged to commit to an institution in the absence of a sufficient probation system, may be diverted from the prisons.

The passage of this bill will materially assist in relieving congestion in Federal prisons without in any manner interfering with the proper enforcement of the law.

The amendment suggested by the Senate committee is a perfecting one and will not materially lessen the proper interest of the Attorney General in the uniform working ont of this system. There still remains sufficient authority in the bill to enable the Attorney General to standardize the probation service throughout the Federal courts and hold the system to high levels.

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APRIL 21 (calendar day, APRIL 25, 1930.-Ordered to be printed

Mr. STEPHENS, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the

following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 7413]

The Committee on the Judiciary, to which was referred the bill (H. R. 7413) to amend the act providing for the parole of United States prisoners, approved June 25, 1910, as amended, have given full consideration to the same and reports it favorably without amendment.

This bill is another in the series of bills designed to remedy existing conditions in the Federal penal structure. Its purpose is to establish an independent board whose sole duty it would be to hear and pass upon applications for parole. It makes no change whatever in the conditions or terms under which Federal prisoners are released upon parole. It merely relieves the Attorney General, the superintendent of prisons, and the wardens and physicians of the several institutions of the confining and onerous duty of passing judgment on the cases of the nine or ten thousand prisoners who annually become eligible for parole. It is a physical impossibility for the superintendent of prisons, considering the magnitude of his other duties, to visit each of the several Federal penal institutions in the United States, as required under existing law, and personally hear each individual who wishes to present reasons why he should be released and then to decide whether such release is compatible with the public welfare. He must now either neglect his supervision over the administration of the care and discipline of some 26,000 Federal prisoners located in the local institutions and Federal penitentiaries, or he must pass hastily over the thousands of parole cases which demand careful and painstaking attention. These are the underlying reasons which demand early enactment of the bill.

There is appended a statement from the Department of Justice explaining the bill in detail.

BILL TO CREATE AN INDEPENDENT PAROLE BOARD

The bill to amend the act providing for the parole of United States prisoners provides merely for the substitution of an independent parole board, to be selected by the Attorney General, for the present board consisting of the superintendent of prisons and the warden and physician of each institution. The board is to be entirely independent of the department and their decisions are to be final.

In addition to placing upon the chairman of the board of parole the power to issue a warrant for the recapture of any parole violator, it corrects one small ambiguity in the present law as to when the unexpired term of imprisonment of a parole violator will begin to run.

The bill is of prime importance because it will make possible a complete revision of the administration of the parole system. When the parole law was passed in 1910 it was entirely possible for the superintendent of prisons and the officers of the prisons to consider deliberately each of the 674 applications for parole presented during the first year of its operation. It is an entirely different situation now when nearly 9,000 cases are considered annually by the board. In addition to hearing all of these cases, the superintendent of prisons and the wardens of the institutions must administer an organization nearly ten times as large as when the parole law was enacted.

But quite aside from this overwhelming problem of administration, it seems wrong in principle to have a parole board constituted entirely of prison officials. It would be only natural for such a board to give undue consideration to the prison record of a man who is seeking parole, instead of seeking to determine how the public may be given the utmost protection. Moreover, it is difficult to procure uniformity of policy and treat all cases in an even-handed manner when only one member of the board, the superintendent of prisons, hears all cases. To attempt to secure uniformity by having all applications subject to the approval of the head of the department or some official acting for him, is futile because of the number of applications to be reviewed and because he does not see the prisoner, hear his testimony, or obtain any impression of his trustworthiness. Under such a system the circumstances of the crime committed, the recommendations of the judge or the district attorney and other outside influences, sometimes biased by the circumstances of the trial or local conditions, are apt to be given too much weight.

Ever since the parole board has been established the Department of Justice has consistently recommended a change in its membership. The very first report of the parole board says:

"The experience of the first year in the administration of the parole law shows the advisability of a change in the personnel of the Federal Board of Parole. When the parole bill was under discussion in Congress prior to its enactment into law, the wardens of the Federal penitentiaries and officials of the Department of Justice advised that it would be better if the officials of the penitentiary were not made members of the board of parole. While the prisoners have no means of knowing exactly on what grounds an application for parole was denied, yet they easily inferred that such denial must have been with the vote of one or both of the prison officials on the board of parole and they have not hesitated to show their resentment of the adverse action in their cases.'

Substantially the same suggestion has been made in every report of the board of parole from 1911 to date, and each year the problem has become more acute.

Since the terms under which parole may be granted are not in any way modified by the proposed amendment, there seems to be no possible objection to so revise the statutes covering parole as to provide a proper personnel to deal intelligently and in the public interest with this feature of prison administration.

There is printed herewith and made a part of this report sections 7413 and 7423 of title 18, United States Code, which shows the old procedure provided for the parole of United States prisoners.

[PUBLIC_No. 269)

[S. 870) AN ACT To parole United States prisoners, and for other purposes Be it anacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That every prisoner who has been or may hereafter be convicted of any offense against the United States, and is confined in execution of the judgment of such conviction in any United States penitentiary or prison, for a definite term or terms of over one year, whose record of conduct shows he has observed the rules of such institution, and who has served one-third of the total of the term or terms for which he was sentenced, may be released on parole as hereinafter provided.

Sec. 2. That the superintendent of prisons of the Department of Justice, and the warden and physician of each United States penitentiary shall constitute a board of parole for such prison, which shall establish rules and regulations for its procedure subject to the approval of the Attorney General. The chief clerk of such prison shall be clerk of said board of parole, and meetings shall be held at each prison as often as the regulations of such board shall provide: Provided, That in every case where a prison other than a United States penitentiary is used for the confinement of such prisoners it shall be the duty of the Attorney General to designate the officers of said prison who, together with the superintendent of prisons, shall constitute such board for said prison.

Sec. 3. That if it shall appear to said board of parole from a report by the proper officers of such prison or upon application by a prisoner for release on parole, that there is a reasonable probability that such applicant will live and remain at liberty without violating the laws, and if in the opinion of the board such release is not incompatible with the welfare of society, then said board of parole may in its discretion authorize the release of such applicant on parole, and he shall be allowed to go on parole outside of said prison, and, in the discretion of the board, to return to his home, upon such terms and conditions, including personal reports from such paroled person, as said board of parole shall prescribe, and to remain, while on parole, in the legal custody and under the control of the warden of such prison from which paroled, and until the expiration of the term or terms specified in his sentence, less such good-time allowance as is or may hereafter be provided for by act of Congress; and said board shall, in every parole, fix the limits of the residence of the person paroled, which limits may thereafter be changed in the discretion of the board: Provided, That no release on parole shall become operative until the findings of the board of parole under the terms hereof shall have been approved by the Attorney General of the United States.

Sec. 4. That if the warden of the prison or penitentiary from which said prisoner was paroled or said board of parole or any member thereof shall have reliable information that the prisoner has violated his parole, then said warden, at any time within the term or terms of the prisoner's sentence, may issue ! is warrant to any officer hereinafter authorized to execute the same, for the retaking of such prisoner.

Sec. 5. That any officer of said prison or any Federal officer authorized to serve criminal process within the United States, to whom such warrant shall be delivered, is authorized and required to execute such warrant by taking such prisoner and returning him to said prison within the time specified in said warrant therefor. All necessary expenses incurred in the administration of this act shall be paid out of the appropriation for the prison in connection with which such expense was incurred, and such appropriation is hereby made available therefor.

Sec. 6. That at the next meeting of the board of parole held at such prison after the issuing of a warrant for the retaking of any paroled prisoner, said board of parole shall be notified thereof, and if said prisoner shall have been returned to said prison, he shall be given an opportunity to appear before said board of parole, and the said board may then or at any time in its discretion revoke the order and terminate such parole or modify the terms and conditions thereof. If such order of parole shall be revoked and the parole so terminated, the said prisoner shall serve the remainder of the sentence originally imposed; and the time the prisoner was out on parole shall not be taken into account to diminish the time for which he was sentenced.

SEC. 7. That each board of parole shall appoint a parole officer for the penitentiary over which it has jurisdiction. Subject to the direction and control of such board, it shall be the duty of such officer to aid paroled prisoners in securing employment and to visit and exercise supervision over them while on parole, and such officer shall have such authority and perform such other duties as the board of parole may direct. The salary of each parole officer shall be fixed by the board of parole, but shall not exceed $1,500 per annum, which, together with his actual and necessary traveling expenses, when approved by such board, shall be paid out of the appropriation

for the maintenance of the penitentiary to which he is assigned, which appropriation is hereby made available for the purpose. In addition to such parole officers the supervision of paroled prisoners may also be devolved upon the United States marshals when the board of parole may deem it necessary.

SR-71-2-VOL 2- 12

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