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Parole Definition

Parole is a privilege that allows criminals to avoid prison or to be released from prison after only serving a portion of their sentences. One of the objectives of parole is to enable offenders the opportunity to rehabilitate their lives and reintegrate themselves into society. The psychology behind parole is that offenders will learn from their mistakes and be less likely to commit new offenses in the future.

What Is Parole Exactly?

Parole is different from probation in that it is not an alternative sentence, but a privilege some prisoners become eligible for as a result of good behavior. The key with parole is that an individual usually has to serve at least one-third of their prison sentence before they become eligible for parole. Parole does not come easily and depending on the severity of the crime that the individual committed; they are then given particular rules that they have to follow to be able to leave prison early.

How Does Someone Become Eligible for Parole?

Various factors determine parole eligibility. The first factor considered is what crime the person committed. The second factor considered is whether they are a first-time offender. Then factors such as mental stability, age, and marital status are considered. The individual's behavior, while incarcerated, is examined along with whether they have the likelihood of benefiting from a specific kind of parole arrangement. The final part of the decision will be whether the parole board believes that the individual has the potential to successfully establish a permanent residence and gain acceptable employment upon being released. If it is determined that releasing the individual early will cause no potential threat to public safety, then usually parole can be granted after one-third of the individual's sentence has been served.

What Is Discretionary Parole?

Parole is something that does not come without obligations attached. Discretionary parole is quite common and is determined by a judge. A judge will stipulate certain conditions that must be met to remain outside of prison and then a judge will have the final say on any proposals at the individual's parole hearing regarding the terms and conditions of their parole agreement.

How Do Fourth Amendment Protections Impact Parole?

The Fourth Amendment is essential to be aware of when discussing parole. In the United States, the Fourth Amendment protects against unjustified searches and seizures that violate an individual's liberty. This amendment is one that is taken quite seriously compared to other Amendments in the United States since it is directly applied to arrests within the United States that are happening every day. When an individual is on parole, they do have a portion of their Fourth Amendment rights waived because individuals on parole do need to be randomly searched. These searches can be quite common if the individual has a history of violence or substance abuse. Individuals on parole can have their property, including their home, searched to verify that they are not violating the terms of their parole. If the search recovers illegal items, it is possible that the individual on parole will incur additional criminal charges as a result.

Parole is something that is an excellent gift to first-time offenders. It is vital to understand the parole options being provided to you thoroughly and to follow those options carefully. If you fail to do so, you may end up extending your original prison sentence and incurring additional criminal charges. If you do not understand your parole agreement, then it is wise to speak to an attorney to be sure that you have a comprehensive understanding of what is expected of you when you leave prison. Those individuals that use parole to have a second chance are the ones that end up having a great deal of long-term success as a result. Be sure to understand your parole agreement carefully and follow its regulations to start a new and productive chapter of your life.

Parole Glossary Definition

Parole is when a defendant is released early from their sentence to reintegrate themselves into society to have a fresh start. Individuals are usually not eligible for parole until they have served at least one-third of their sentence. Individuals who violate their parole terms end up having more severe criminal penalties in the future. Judges stipulate expectations of parole agreements, and it is essential that individuals on parole follow their parole instructions carefully.