Community supervision can be enforced for those convicted of a crime; its purpose allows individuals to serve part, or all, of their sentence in their local community rather than a correctional facility. The most common forms of community supervision are parole or probation. Both programs can be completed in various ways, such as time in a halfway house, attending substance abuse programs and mental health services, and completing vocational training.
In some cases, offenders of serious sex crimes might be offered community supervision for life (CSL), which may seem more appealing, but it is more demanding than standard parole. To determine if it is the best option, those who are convicted of a crime should speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Is CSL Effective?
There are 4.5 million individuals under some form of community supervision in the United States, 56 percent of which are under parole. These high numbers lead to a high turnover rate for many agencies, decreased effectiveness, and diminished public safety. The effectiveness of these programs varies, and parole is almost fully controlled by the state’s department of corrections.
Those who served parole often returned to old habits once completed. The effectiveness of parole appears to be connected to strict conditions offenders must abide by while under supervision, such as curfews, restrictions on locations, fees, and various programs. When subjected to CSL, guidelines are even more stringent, which often leads to failure for the offender. This is because the offender is more likely to commit a violation due to more opportunities over a lifetime, rather than a standard parole. Charges that can lead to CSL include:
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Sexual assault
- Endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct
Certain crimes are often second-degree but violating conditions under CSL can lead to a third-degree offense and additional jail time.
Conditions Under CSL
Although offenders are not incarcerated, those serving CSL are still under harsh scrutiny for a lifetime. Some terms include:
- Reporting regularly to your parole officer
- Obtaining permission for jobs, residences, and internet use
- Being subjected to searches, which includes your car and residence
- Registering under Megan’s Law, depending on circumstances
If you determine this might be a better alternative than being incarcerated, it is best to speak to a lawyer about your rights and legal options.
Determining If CSL is Right for You
CSL has various advantages and consequences; it allows for individuals to avoid jail time, but those serving CSL may be more likely to violate strict conditions. Through a petition to the court, it is also possible to be released from CSL after serving probation for at least 15 years after your last conviction or release from incarceration. Evidence must also be provided to show that you are not a threat to society, which can be obtained through legal representation.
South Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyers at Aita Law, LLC Help Individuals Determine If Community Supervision for Life is the Right Option
Determining if CSL is the right choice is a difficult situation. Our accomplished South Jersey criminal defense lawyers at Aita Law, LLC will guide you in the right direction. Contact us online or call us at 856-287-7800 for a free consultation. Located in Haddonfield and Marlton, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Cherry Hill and Camden County.