What is Parole

Parole is an aspect of criminal sentencing that involves the early release of a defendant. The convicted person must serve in prison at least half of their sentence and above two years in order to be eligible for parole or twelve years if the person was sentenced in life prison. Application for parole shall be submitted six months prior the right for parole.

Parole is granted by the Parole Commission when it is found that the inmate has substantially observed the rules of the institution and inmate’s release would not depreciate the seriousness of the offence and would not jeopardize the public welfare.

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.

The released person can then re-enter society, often in a limited way as the Parole Commission decides and under the supervision of a parole officer. In order to maintain parole status, the released person may need to meet certain requirements, such as staying out of legal trouble and meeting regularly with their parole officer.

More specific conditions of parole can include:

• Reporting in person with a parole officer
• Remaining within a certain defined area
• Obtaining permission before changing employment or residence
• Maintaining steady employment
• Participating in socially acceptable, non-threatening activities
• Abstaining from alcohol and drugs
• Abiding by state and local laws, and other written provisions
• Not associating with ex-convicts

The defendant shall accept all of the prescribed conditions and limitations in order for Parole to be granted. Therefore, the person is bound by them and must always comply with them.

In addition to serving half of the prison sentence, parole is usually allowed if the person:

• Has demonstrated good conduct and obedience to the rules;
• Would not create a threat to public welfare if released;
• They would not likely re-commit the same crime

Release on parole is not meant to lessen the seriousness of the offence; instead it serves as a way for the person to re-enter society and resume being a productive citizen. Parole is also more likely granted for first-time offenders with a clean criminal record.

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 probably be required to return to prison and serve out the remainder of their sentencing term.

The parole officer reports any violation to the Parole Commission. The Commissioner determines the appropriate sanctions, which among other can include the issuance of an arrest warrant or a summon to appear at a hearing.

Note that, any parole order can be modified, amended, or revised under the discretion of the parole board. Amongst others, modifications can include:

• Changing the terms or conditions of the parole
• Extending or shortening the parole period

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