How to Serve Time Under Parole

What Is Parole?

Parole is when someone is allowed to serve part of their sentence under the supervision of their community. The law says that the U.S. Parole Commission may grant parole if (a) the inmate has substantially observed the rules of the institution; (b) release would not depreciate the seriousness of the offense or promote disrespect for the law; and (c) release would not jeopardize the public welfare. Parole allows for the parolee to get assimilated to their community more seamlessly and provides support to help parolee with any personal problems (i.e. a drug addiction). Further, parole prevents the needless incarceration of individuals who are not very likely to commit another crime.


What’s The Difference Between Parole And Probation?

Parole is the release of a prisoner to be supervised by their community. Probation, on the other hand, is a court-appointed alternative to serving jail time.


Who Is Eligible For Parole?

A criminal offender is eligible for parole depending on the sentencing that they received. The earliest time that an offender may be eligible for parole is the designated “parole eligibility date,” which is typically once one-third of the sentence has been served.


How Does One Apply For Parole?

In order to apply for parole, the offender must fill out a parole application form provided by their case manager. They must fill out the parole application and submit it to the proper authorities in order to be eligible for a parole hearing, where the offender get the opportunity to plead their case.


What Happens During A Parole Hearing?

A Parole hearing is the chance for offenders to present their reasons for why they think they are eligible for parole to a Parole Commission. During this meeting, topics typically include: the details of the offense, past criminal history, what progress the offender has made during their time in jail, the details and plans for after release, and any problems that the offender may face, just to name a few. The Parole Commission is not only thinking about what’s in the best interest for the offender, but also what’s in the best interest for the community as well. Usually, an official decision will be handed down within 21 days.


Are The Parole Hearings Recorded?

Yes, parole hearings are recorded. A parolee may request a copy of their hearing by submitting a request under the Freedom Of Information Act.


If A Parolee Is Not Granted Parole, Will The Parole Commission Tell Them Why?

Yes. If your parole was declined, the Hearing Examiner will discuss why the decision was made and provide recommendations for the next parole hearing.


Can A Parole Candidate Appeal The Parole Commission’s Decision?

Yes. A parole candidate has 30 days from the Notice Of Action to appeal the commission’s decision through the National Appeals Board. The National Appeals Board may order the decision reversed, affirmed, or modified. The National Appeals Board’s decision is final and cannot be appealed to a higher power.


If A Parole Candidate’s Application For Parole Was Declined, When Are They Eligible For Parole Again?

If a sentence is less than seven years, the offender will be granted another hearing after 18 months from the time of their last hearing. If the sentence is seven years or more, the next hearing is scheduled 24 months from the time of the last hearing.


If A Person Is Granted Parole, When Will They Be Released?

After a decision is made by the Parole Commission, the application for parole must be reviewed by the United States Parole Office. If parole is granted, the parolee will be released on the day that the Parole Commission set. If not, there may be a delay in release until an understanding has come between the United States Parole Office and the Parole Commission.


What Happens After A Parolee Is Released?

After a Parolee is released, they typically fall under the watchful eye of the United States Parole Office. The Parole Office will provide a parole officer and the parolee must meet with their parole officer during the designated times set by the officer. In addition, the parole officer may require drug testing, community restitution, or involvement in treatment programs depending on the case.


How Long Will A Parolee Remain On Parole?

A parolee will remain on parole until the maximum expiration date of the sentence, unless the Parole Commission terminates the supervision early. In these cases, a parolee will be given a Certificate of Early Termination.


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Revised: Feb. 11, 2016, 8:19 p.m.
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