If a person is released after they have been in a jail for an extended period of time, it’s likely they will be placed on parole. In order to granted parole, the individual must show that they have observed the rules of the institution they were in, and that they are no longer a danger to the public.
The decision will ultimately be made by a parole board. Who is on a parole board varies from case to case. It isn’t necessarily people within in the justice system. In some states, the only requirement is a bachelor’s degree and good professional/legal standing.
Should you or someone you know ever face a parole board, there are a few things you should know.
Parole is not a Right
When you’re arrested, you have a number rights. Parole is not one of them. It’s a privilege (or “act of grace”) that may or may not be granted to you depending on your circumstances and the crime you committed.
Therefore, a parole hearing is not like a court case where the accused can confront the prosecution and see evidence. In fact…
Parole Hearings are not Like Court Cases or Trials at All
When it comes to granting or not granting parole, the board doesn’t need proof or evidence to make their decision. Ultimately, they can make their decision for just about any reason they see fit.
Life Sentences are Not Necessarily for Life
If you are placed in prison for a number of years, you may be eligible for early parole. If you find yourself with a life sentence, you may think that you have no chance of parole. That, however, is not necessarily the case.
Based on factors such as good behavior, as well as the reason for their incarceration, a person with a life sentence may eventually be eligible for parole.
If Granted, Parole is Similar to Probation
Parole shouldn’t be confused with probation. Probation happens before jail time and is considered an alternative to it. That said, there are many similarities between a person on parole and a person on probation.
You have an officer assigned to you. You have to check in. Random searches can be done to your property without reason.
The main difference between the two is the reason behind them. While parole is an effort to reintegrate someone who has been incarcerated back into society, probation is more a preventative measure, hoping that someone will change their ways before going to prison.
The best way to know your rights and navigate parole is with a lawyer experienced in criminal law. If you’re looking for crime lawyers in Springfield, Ohio, the team at Michael T. Edwards is here for you.