As alternatives to incarceration, there may be some confusion as to just what the differences between probation and parole are. Both parole and probation require that an individual be supervised and are expected to follow guidelines for their behavior. For parole, these guidelines are called conditions of parole; for probation, these are called probation conditions. For instance, random drug testing and curfews are typical guidelines for those wishing to remain free from incarceration. Failure to meet these guidelines can lead to incarceration. Most of the time, any body who uses a bail bondsman to get out of jail will have to adhere to these restrictions until their trial occurs.
Additionally, the individual must allow search to their person and premises without a warrant and without probable cause. So, whats the difference? Essentially, probation occurs prior to and often instead of time spent prison or jail. On the other hand, parole is an early release from prison. When a person is put on probation, a judge allows them to prove themselves to rehabilitate themselves without incarceration (which functions as a forced rehabilitation). Probation is given for a specific amount of time (from 1 10 years depending on the state), whether the individual had been given a pre-determined sentence or not.
If the individual complies with all of the probation conditions set forth by the judge, such as finding a permanent place of residence, the person will not be sent to jail/prison to complete their sentence. However, if the individual does not meet these guidelines, they may be given a new sentence based on the initial crime plus the probation violation. A probation officer manages an individuals probation. Their job is to ensure that a defendant makes progress and doesnt violate the terms and conditions of their probation. Probation officers report to a judge, who decides whether an individual should return to prison or remain free at a final sentencing. If the probation was given in lieu of a suspended prison term, the individual returns to prison to serve out their initial sentence.
The period of time after an individual is released from prison is called parole. It functions as a way of reintegrating a person back into society. If incarceration is forced rehabilitation, parole puts the responsibility of maintaining good behavior on the individual. To facilitate this, some individuals are ordered to be put in a halfway house, continue payments on fines, and other financial obligations. Similar to probation, a defendant typically meets with a parole officer, where their progress is evaluated. If the defendant isnt making adequate progress or taking the steps to reintegrate back into society, a parole officer may file a report with the parole board. The parole board (not the original judge) may order the defendant returned to prison to finish the remaining time of her/his sentence.