Parole is a monitored supervision that starts after a person has been released from jail or prison after completing only a part of their sentence. Eligibility for parole is determined using a variety of factors as well as guidelines provided by statutes. Parole is not available for all crimes, and the rules and regulations for parole can vary by state.
Parole is considered to be granted as a privilege, not a right. Therefore, parole orders can be subject to modifications or even cancellation after they have been granted. Also, the parole authorities can place certain conditions or limitations on the parole order. The parolee must follow these conditions in order to maintain their eligibility for parole.
A person who has been granted parole is typically still considered a prisoner even though they may not be required to stay in the prison or jail facility. They are entitled to a certain degree of liberty, subject to several conditions which they must abide by. The parole board has discretion to place these conditions on the parole as they deem appropriate, so long as the conditions are not illegal or immoral.
In general the most basic condition associated with parole is the prohibition of behavior by the parolee that is dangerous or harmful to society. Another common type of condition is the requirement that the parolee complete a rehabilitation program. Such programs are common with sex offenders and persons subject to substance abuse.
More specific conditions of parole can include:
- Reporting in person with a parole officer regularly
- Remaining within a certain defined area
- Obtaining permission before changing employment or residence
- Maintaining steady employment
- Participating in socially acceptable, non-threatening activities
- Completing monthly written reports
- Reporting any instances of arrest, within 24 hours of the arrest
- Abstaining from alcohol and drugs
- Abiding by state and local laws, and other written provisions
- Submitting to searches of a residence, vehicle, or person at any given time by parole officers
- Sex offenders must register under a police registry and are not allowed to live with persons under 18 years of age
The parolee must understand that they are accepting parole subject to all of the prescribed conditions and limitations. Therefore, the person is bound by them and must comply with them at all times.
Breaching parole conditions can result in revocation of parole privileges. Violations of parole terms can make the parolee subject to arrest, depending on the severity of the breach. The person would then be required to return to prison and serve out the remainder of their sentencing term.
If you have been granted parole, you should make sure that you thoroughly understand all of the various conditions and terms that you must abide by. If you are unclear as to any of the parole conditions, you may wish to consult with a criminal lawyer for advice. Also, in the event that a condition has been breached, or if you have been accused of breaching a condition, an attorney can help defend your interests.