Parole, is the supervision that begins when a person is released from prison or jail after serving part of their sentence. Parole eligibility dates are different in each state and are determined by state laws. In some states, parole is not available for certain crimes. In the federal prison system, parole is also known as "supervised release."

Parole is a privilege and not a right and is only available in limited circumstances. If a former prisoner violates the terms of his or her parole, he or she will most likely be required to return to jail or prison.

What Is the Role of the Parole Board?

Usually it is up to the parole board to decide whether a prisoner will be released on parole or remain in jail. Some factors the parole board may consider when making their decision include:

  • Public Safety
  • Ability of the offender to successfully reintegrate into society
  • Efforts to Rehabilitate
  • Age
  • Mental Stability
  • Marital Status
  • Education Level/Training
  • Remorse
  • Time Served
  • Prior Criminal History
  • Type and Severity of the Offense
  • Behavior, Habits, and Traits
  • Conduct While Incarcerated

What Is Probation?

Probation is a sentencing procedure where the offender avoids jail or prison and instead remains under the court's supervision for a set period of time under set guidelines. It is up to judge to decide whether or not probation will be granted. Some common requirements for probation include:

  • Obeying all laws
  • Abiding court orders
  • Reporting changes of employment or address to probation officers
  • Abstaining from excessive alcohol or drug use
  • Being subject to drug tests
  • Travel may be limited unless approved by a probation officer

While on probation, the offender may be subject to announced and unannounced visits from his or her probation officer in order to verify that he or she is abiding by the terms of the probation. Probation may be revoked and the offender can be sent to jail or prison if any of the above requirements are violated.

It is up to the court to decide how long an offender’s probation will be. Usually the probation will be between 1-5 years.

Do You Need Legal Advice on Parole or Probation?

If you or a loved one is facing parole or probation, you should speak to a criminal defense attorney immediately to learn more about your rights and the options available to you.

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