What is Parole Law?

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  • Written By: Patrick Roland
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 04 November 2019
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Parole law exists in many prison systems as a reward for good behavior and a method of population control that allows prisoners to be released early under certain circumstances. Parole law differs from case to case, but it always provides a list of terms that the parolee must meet to stay out of prison. The release itself actually is out of the court system's jurisdiction but is a decision made by a parole board. If there is a violation of parole, however, the case goes back to court for further punishment.

Parole law is in place to aid the penal system in many nations. Parole typically is not a right but an incentive for many prisoners to behave, because this opportunity is extended only to inmates who have stellar behavioral records. In most cases, there are rules in place that exclude inmates convicted of violent crime, because they are seen as more of a risk to the general public.


Parole law states that release is not determined by the court, but by a prison board that determines parole eligibility. These are regularly scheduled reviews of an individual's performance record, and they often include an interview with the subject to get a sense of the danger he or she will or will not pose to the public. If deemed a safe candidate for release, the parole board will grant an inmate an opportunity to be released early on the condition that he or she maintains a lawful life.

After they are released, parolees must follow a series of parole conditions outlined specifically within that country's parole law. In many cases, these terms differ based on a parolee's previous record and severity of crimes. Parole rules vary from simply requiring that the inmate does not commit any crimes during parole to more specific inclusions. Specific rules can include making regular visits to the parole office, staying away from certain people and establishments or even having restrictions on travel.

A violation of parole will result in that person's arrest and a subsequent court date. In most cases, when a prisoner does not observe the conditions of parole, he or she returns to prison and receives further punishment. Additional punishment can range from added prison time to a fine. The purpose of these added penalties are to discourage the parolee from breaking the terms of his or her release.



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