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Parole Basics


Parole is a term that refers to a prisoner's conditional release. The inmate (referred to as a "parolee") is released from prison but must fulfill a set of obligations. If a parolee does not obey the rules, he or she may be sent back to prison.


In most cases, parole — also known as "discretionary" parole — allows a convict to leave prison early and serve a portion of the remaining sentence under parole supervision.


For parole-eligible offenders, institutional behavior, incarceration term, crime severity, criminal history, mental illness, and victim input are among the most critical criteria affecting their release.


Serious offenses, such as those including the following, are frequently sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

Violent crimes


Offenses involving firearms or other weapons


Drug crimes, particularly those involving distribution or manufacturing


Theft offenses, particularly those involving high-value items; and/or incidents requiring several crimes



Parole Vs. Probation


In criminal law, probation is a time of court-ordered supervision of an offender, usually instead of jail. Probation solely refers to community penalties, such as lenient sentences, in some jurisdictions.



The end of a sentence and subsequent release are better explained by parole. Probation is frequently granted in exchange for good behavior in prison or jail. Nevertheless, the person's behavior and attitude while incarcerated could affect the outcome of either conceivable event.



Finally, it's crucial to understand that judicial review can be used to challenge Parole Board judgments. Although the Parole Board's rulings are not appealable, they can be challenged through judicial review. A crime victim (or their family members if the person is deceased) can also request judicial review of a release decision.


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Now, let’s move to the core of the discussion.


10 Interesting Facts You Should Know About Parole Decisions For Prisoners


1.   Life sentences do not always indicate life.


People serving life sentences are eligible for release after a certain amount of time unless they are condemned to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The minimum time they have to appear before the parole board varies by state. In some states, it's as little as 15 years, while in others, it's as much as 50 years.


2.   Most parole boards, on the other hand, will not consider granting parole to lifers.


According to research, violent offenders are the least likely to re-offend, but parole-eligible lifers are nearly never released on their first hearing, and in certain jurisdictions, they are never released at all. In a recent report, Maryland Circuit Court Judge Philip Caroom noted that the reluctance to offer parole to lifers "has destroyed the distinction" between life with and life without parole. Also, there is no constitutional right to parole and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Graham v. Florida, No. 08-7412, slip. op. at 23, 560 U.S. __ (2010) that life without parole is unconstitutional for non-homicide cases.


3.   You can serve on a parole board if you are a farmer, a car salesman, a corporate executive, or a personal fitness trainer.


Most states do not need parole board members to have prior criminal justice experience. Only a few states establish baseline professional and educational criteria for parole board members, and those that do are usually phrased as a recommendation, such as "board members should have a bachelor's degree."


4.   In parole hearings, inmates have no legal rights.


People have certain basic rights protected by the Constitution in all other elements of the criminal justice system, such as the ability to face your accuser or view the evidence against them. Parole, on the other hand, is an "act of grace," not a right, according to the courts, therefore convicts are unprotected.


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5.   Parole boards have the authority to make decisions for nearly any reason.


Parole boards are free to make decisions based on whatever criteria they wish. Although some boards have decision criteria, there is no legal requirement for board members to follow them. That is, the success rate of parole can be influenced by the parole boards


6.   Parole isn't the same as "early release."


Parole is sometimes referred to as "early release," yet the option of parole is built into the sentence when it is handed down by the judge. Judges assign a number of years, such as five to ten or two to seven. Inmates are eligible for release after serving the required number of years.


7.   Nobody has any idea how to gain parole.


Boards rarely specify what an inmate must do to be released. They are not obligated to uphold their own promises if they do so.


8.   Outside of prison, parole boards can have a tremendous impact on your life.


Parole boards make more than simply decisions about who gets sent home. They also decide on the terms and conditions of people's parole, as well as the repercussions of violating parole. In some places, parole boards can even pick who and when to consider for parole.


9.   Release boards may or may not meet with the person seeking parole.


Many states allow boards to make decisions entirely based on the information in the prisoner's file. Given that the typical state board makes 35 release decisions per workday, there isn't much time for review.


10.   Paroles are cost-effective.

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Parole also helps to minimize prison overpopulation by allowing prisoners who are unlikely to harm others to live in the community under supervision. Parole assists the government in attempting to reduce the enormous costs of maintaining huge prison populations while still ensuring the safety of the general public.


Additionally, it’s important to know that the parolee is largely supervised by the prison authority through mandatory visits with a parole officer. Transitory services suited to the needs of the parolee may be provided by state parole services (typically a section of the department of prisons), such as shelter in a halfway house or intense mental health therapy.


Finally, the purpose of parole is to allow a prisoner to reintegrate into society. The parolee limitations are meant to encourage good behavior following incarceration. In fact, even before they are released from prison, the prospect of parole can motivate them to stay out of trouble.


For more information on parole and prisoners, click the links, below: (Disclaimer: Affiliate Advertising. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.)


How To Prepare A Parole Package: Triggering Your Release From Prison Paperback – October 4, 2019 By Annala D' Diors


Life Without Parole: Living and Dying in Prison Today 5th Edition By Victor Hassine