does not suspend service or operate to shorten the term. While on parole the convict is bound to remain the legal custody and under the control of the warden until the expiration of the term, less allowance, if any, for good conduct. While this is an amelioration of punishment, it is in legal effect imprisonment.' In commenting upon the nature of parole, the Court of Pardons of New Jersey, 1925, 97 N.J.Eq. 555, 129 A. 624, at page 631, quoted from the opinion of former Attorney General Edmund Wilson, rendered on April 23, 1912, in the following language: 'When granted, it is certain that the prisoner is still in the legal custody and under the control of the state. It (parole) is designed primarily for the benefit of the prisoner. The parole may be revoked for cause, and the prisoner, while at large, is always under the surveillance by the officers of the state.'
The status of a prisoner paroled under 18 U.S.C.A. § 4203 has been construed as being that of continuing in legal custody and control. Minder v. Assistant Director, etc., 6 Cir., 1955, 229 F.2d 432; United States ex rel. Rowe v. Nicholson, 4 Cir., 1935, 78 F.2d 468, certiorari denied 296 U.S. 573, 56 S. Ct. 118, 80 L. Ed. 405. In the latter case parole was equated to an extension of prison walls. Parole has been described by the New Jersey courts as an act of leniency or grace towards a prisoner and a device for protection of society through rehabilitation of an offender. Zink v. Lear, 1953, 28 N.J.Super. 515, 101 A.2d 72; State ex rel. Kincaid v. State Parole Board 1959, 53 N.J.Super. 526, 147 A.2d 817. Although physically a release from the narrow confines of the security institution, a parole is not a termination of imprisonment but rather an enlargement of the jail limits. It is, in substance, a conditional release from confinement, but not from supervision and control. If the prisoner violates the conditions of his parole, and is reconfined, he may not receive credit upon his sentence for the time spent on parole, but that is a penalty visited upon the prisoner for the violation of his parole and does not constitute a basis for the contention that the commencement of parole marks the termination of imprisonment.
In construing the Act under which this case arises we must look to the intent of Congress as expressed therein and to the decisions of Federal courts dealing with the terminology to be construed. The Landrum-Griffin Act is a further exercise by the Congress of its constitutional authority in the field of interstate commerce. At the very outset, 29 U.S.C.A. § 401(a), the Act itself sets forth a congressional finding that the public interest imposes upon the Federal Government responsibility for the protection of the right of employees '* * * to organize, choose their own representatives, bargain collectively, and otherwise engage in concerted activities for their mutual aid or protection; * * *.' In subdivision (b) of the same section of the Act, Congress further expressly finds 'from recent investigations in the labor and management fields, that there have been a number of instances of breach of trust, corruption, disregard of the rights of individual employees, and other failures to observe high standards of responsibility and ethical conduct' requiring legislation to protect the rights and interests of employees and of the public generally 'as they relate to the activities of labor organizations, employers, * * * and their officers and representatives.' In the final subdivision (c) of the same section, is the expression of the further congressional determination that the enactment of the statute is necessary 'to eliminate or prevent improper practices on the part of labor organizations, employers, * * * and their officers and representatives which distort and defeat the policies of the Labor Management Relations Act, 1947, as amended, and the Railway Labor Act, as amended, and have the tendency or necessary effect of burdening or obstructing commerce' by certain specified means.
The Act constitutes Chapter 11 of Title 29 of the U.S.C.A. The foregoing statement of findings, purposes and policy, and the definition of terms, are to be found in subchapter I of the Act. Subchapter II embodies a bill of rights of members of labor organizations, such as the defendant Local in the case at bar, and for the infringement of those rights, section 412 of that subchapter authorizes the Federal District Courts to entertain civil actions brought by those whose rights, so proclaimed, have been infringed. Subchapter III states the reporting requirements imposed upon labor organizations, and officers and employees and employers of the members thereof. For the enforcement of those requirements the Secretary of Labor is empowered by section 440 to invoke Federal District Court jurisdiction. The section which we are here called upon to construe forms a part of subchapter VI which provides safeguards for labor organizations, and in so doing disqualifies, inter alia, persons convicted of assault which inflicts grievous bodily injury from serving as (also inter alia) a business agent of any labor organization for a period of five years after the end of the imprisonment, if any, to which he may have been sentenced upon such conviction. Subdivision (b) of the same section § (504) imposes a penalty of fine or imprisonment, or both, for any violation of the section.
It seems obvious from the language of the Act that the Congress intended to exclude convicted criminals from elective office in labor organizations within a period of five years following the termination of the status of convict of any such persons. I am impelled to the conclusion that in adopting this 'purification' period of five years, the Congress indicated an intent to assure that the previously convicted person had demonstrated, for at least that period, his ability to conduct himself in obedience to the criminal laws free of custody and of custodial supervision. While such person remains on parole such custodial supervision persists, and society continues to be confronted with the risk that the individual, by his own misconduct, might require remanding to security confinement. With this cloud hanging over him, the effectiveness and reliability, as well as the availability, of the candidate for the labor organization office would be one of uncertainty. Such a status would clearly be against the interest of the members of the labor organization, as well as of the public at large.
Among the miscellaneous provisions of the Act, which are included in subchapter VII is the investiture, by § 521(a) of the Secretary of Labor with the power to make investigations to determine whether any person has violated or is about to violate any provision of the Act except subchapter II, which contains the so-called Bill of Rights. The Attorney General was, therefore, amply authorized to investigate (in behalf of the Secretary) the incumbency of the plaintiff in the office of business agent of the defendant Local and to express to that defendant his belief that the plaintiff was illegally occupying his office. It was this expression of belief communicated first to the International and through it to the Local, that raised the justiciable controversy for the resolution of which the plaintiff has, in my opinion appropriately, invoked the jurisdiction of this Court. I must, however, resolve that controversy in favor of the Secretary because I determine that less than five years have expired since the end of plaintiff's imprisonment pursuant to his aforesaid conviction, and that therefore he illegally occupies the office or position of Business Agent of the defendant Local.
An appropriate order may be presented in conformity with the views herein expressed.
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