Consequences of Violating Parole

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A prisoner may receive parole, or early release from custody, and serve the rest of his sentence under the supervision of a parole officer. The prisoner's eligibility for parole depends on state or federal laws, his own behavior and a final determination by a parole board. However, should the parolee fail to abide by the parole requirements, he runs the risk of facing several consequences.

No Consequences

  • In a few cases, the parole board will decide to impose no consequences on the parole violator. Several factors come into play regarding this decision. The parolee may be close to finishing her term of supervision, and the parole board may decide that her alleged violations do not merit further supervision. Although rare, the parole department may fail to prove the allegations of parole violation, in which case the charges will be dismissed and the parolee will continue under community supervision.

Counseling

  • Many parole violations involve alcohol- or drug-related incidents. These may include a positive drug test or a new crime involving substance abuse. In these situations, the parole department directly confronts the substance abuse by directing the parolee to attend some type of counseling. The offender might attend support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, or a more structured outpatient program. In some cases, the parolee must enroll in a residential treatment facility. The parole board or officer determines the type of treatment and the facility location.

Enhanced Terms

  • All parolees must follow terms and conditions of parole. These include reporting to the parole officer, payment of court fees and other restrictions. Parole violation often includes stricter requirements for the offender. He might need to report more often, adhere to a curfew schedule or receive an extended parole sentence. The parole officer may check on him more frequently, either by phone or in person.

Prison

  • Parolees serve most of their sentences in prison. However, if the parole violation is serious enough, the board will revoke parole, and the offender will return to prison for the remainder of her term. If she commits a new crime while on parole, she will face consequences for the new offense and for the separate violation of her parole. A typical prison term for parole violation is about one year, but this varies by jurisdiction.

References

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