Parole is a term you’ve heard dozens of times on television, in the news and maybe even from friends and family members. While it’s a familiar term, many people don’t truly know what parole is or what it means. Even fewer people understand the ins and outs of the system and how to handle tasks like looking up a parole violation.
If you or somebody you know is out of jail on parole, understanding the system will have a vital impact on you and what a parole violation means. Law enforcement officers, attorneys and even court clerks need to understand parole too. Whatever reason you’re reaching parole, you can use this guide to learn more about the parole system, violations and ways to find pertinent information about yourself or others.
Parole is basically a temporary release from prison that aims to allow prisoners to reenter the free world before their prison sentence is up. While the prison sentence is not commuted or simply forgotten, parolees no longer have to stay in jail. However, they are still considered to be serving time, and for that reason, there are often severe restrictions on what a parolee can and can’t do because of their criminal record.
That’s because being released from jail on parole is conditional. Before release, a parolee is required to agree to certain terms put forth by the state. These can vary, but they typically include a wide range of things. Some of these are obvious – like staying away from criminal enterprises. Others may be less obvious, and many states don’t allow parolees to do things like drink alcohol even in moderation.
In some cases, an inmate may be granted medical parole, which is similar to compassionate release. Generally, individuals who are released from prison on medical parole are ill and need greater care than a prison can provide. Their illness is generally severe enough that they’re not a threat to the population at large as well.
Being released on parole allows inmates to get back to their families and begin building healthy, happy lives again. However, somebody released from jail on parole is not free to do anything they please. In fact, the restrictions on parolees may surprise you if you don’t have any experience with the parole system.
When an inmate on parole violates the terms of their release it is called a parole violation. Depending on the severity of the violation, the person may be returned to jail, though this is not always the case.
Finding out if somebody you know or somebody who committed a crime against you is out of jail on parole can feel like a difficult task. After all, it’s hard to know where to even start for most people. You have a few options for looking up parolees:
A parole violation can catch a person off guard. In some cases, a reported parole violation may not even be accurate. It could also be the result of poor reporting by a parole officer.
A parole violation search allows the parole to find out about violations and speak with a probation before they are arrested and potentially sentenced. In some cases, doing this may keep the parolee from going back to jail.
The parole system is designed to help inmates leave prison early and get back to their normal lives. However, it doesn’t always perform as intended, and sometimes violations do occur. If you’re not sure if a violation was committed, using proper search tools can help you, a friend or family member stay out of trouble.
Along with using searches, staying in touch with the assigned parole officer is essential. If in doubt, take the time to check in even if it’s not scheduled. Parole officers would rather hear from released inmates often instead of not at all.