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When the monitored release of an incarcerated individual into the public occurs, this is called a conditional release. The conditional release has gained more popularity now than in the past.


Sometimes, we may see an individual who is found not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI) to be under a conditional release program. Although the conditional release is monitored, it may not be as controlled as probation.

Accepting an individual into a conditional release program can mean that he or she must have met some criteria. Let's call these criteria requirements for conditional release. This blog article will discuss How Effective Are Conditional Release Programs And Requirements For Criminal Defendants?


A conditional release for an incarcerated individual can be organized within or around a few days. However, the time of incarceration before a conditional release may not be common knowledge.

Generally, for conditional release to be possible based on the time of incarceration, an incarcerated individual must not be serving a life sentence. In New York State, an incarcerated individual must apply for conditional release and must agree in writing to abide by the conditions of community supervision until the expiration of their maximum term, or post-release supervision maximum expiration date.


Having an idea of the conditions for conditional release is important. Hopefully, you will never need one, however, if someday you do, having some knowledge about it can help the process be easier to navigate.

The conditional release appears to help the Justice System seem more lenient than in the past and a conditional release is one of the most lenient forms of “pardons” that an imprisoned individual can get. However, it is not a pardon granted by a governor or president.

Sometimes, the circumstances surrounding an individual’s imprisonment may be unfair. This can especially be true concerning people with mental disabilities and mental health issues. This is where a conditional release can come into play through the courts.

The conditional release makes it possible for individuals to enjoy some freedom under minimal guidance. It implies that an individual has to abide by certain agreed to terms or conditions prior to their release. Otherwise, they must resume their normal sentence based on the crime(s) they’ve been charged with.



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The conditional release shouldn’t be mistaken for probation. Rather it is more like an opportunity for a released individual to show the courts, others, and themselves that they can be responsible within the community as agreed upon before their conditional release.

Sometimes, it may seem synonymous with parole. The conditional release of an individual is based on the conditions of their sentence. And afterward, a minimally supervised release based on their behavior.

For instance, an individual can be meant to serve a five-year prison sentence. Let's say they already served three years before applying for conditional release. A successful application for conditional release means the individual gets two years out of jail. However, if they are found to be of poor conduct during the period or commit further crime(s), then they would resume their normal sentence of five years total, with possibly more time depending on the seriousness of any additional offenses.


What Crimes Fall Under A Conditional Release?


Crimes do not necessarily determine whether a conditional release is feasible or not. For a conditional release, what matters most are the circumstances of the current sentence.

For instance, crimes that have caused the inmate life imprisonment won't be considered. However, only crimes with sentences spanning more than 90 days and with a definite sentence may be considered.

Sometimes, an individual can experience an unconditional release due to mental health issues. However, people with mental health issues may not be released directly into society. Instead, they should be cared for at mental health facilities until they can be fully acquitted. 

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Who Qualifies For Conditional Release?


It is common to see people who are considered not guilty because of insanity given conditional release. However, they are generally supervised by appropriate bodies during the time of their release. Before now. the most favorable sentence for people NGRI was to keep them in psychiatric facilities. perhaps till they become stable.

Another way to get a conditional release for incarcerated individuals is by good behavior. The consistency of good conduct can contribute to a strong case for conditional release.

Inmates can decide to file for conditional release. If they put their request through the necessary and proper channels and act accordingly, they could get a conditional release. Despite good conduct in prison, a released inmate should continue their good behavior during their period of conditional release. 

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Requirements For Conditional Release


Here are some of the requirements for an inmate to be approved for conditional release:

•     Good behavior


•     Educational credits


•    Performing good deeds


•    Passing a literacy program

Conditional Release vs. Parole

For conditional release vs parole, the procedure for parole and conditional release are the same things. A prisoner is released on the condition that they will keep up good behavior for the remaining period of their sentence. Like conditional release, parole is a conditional release. If a released inmate fails to live up to the terms of their conditional release or parole, they can be re-incarcerated.

How Successful Is Conditional Release?

Somehow, the conditional release has had great success so far. Only a few cases have had the conditionally released individual commit offenses where their crimes put them back in jail.

There has been about a 70% success rate with conditional releases. One of the reasons for the great success is that it takes certain requirements to get released on conditions, like the inmate being of consistent good behavior and learning a useful skill among other things.


The conditional release allows people serving time in prison to turn a new leaf or show that they are law-abiding individuals. Although this opportunity is not available to every inmate, such as inmates with a life sentence, inmates who are not eligible for conditional release still can earn Good Time credits or maintain good behavior to get an early release. Inmates must ensure that they learn the proper legal information, get sound legal advice, and stay aware of how they benefit from programs they may be eligible for.

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

Prison Term Reduction Recidivism Reduction Programs And Inmate Early Release Under The First Step Act By  Ralph S. Behr (Author), Federal Sentencing Alliance (Author)