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Definition - What does parole mean?

Parole is a program that enables the controlled release of a convicted criminal back into society prior to the prison sentence being completed. It is an interim step between serving jail time and being released on completion of the prison sentence. Parole is most often granted for prisoners who have shown good behavior during incarceration and who were incarcerated for non-violent offences.

SureHire explains parole

In Canada, parole is managed by the Parole Board of Canada. The board is given the authority to grant, refuse or withdraw parole for offenders serving sentences in excess of two years. Parole is granted subject to specific terms and conditions set out by the Parole Board. Offenders must adhere to these conditions in order to complete the program or risk being returned to continue their prison sentence under incarceration. Parole can be granted as either day parole or full parole. Day parole prepares the offender for full parole or release, while full parole enables the offender to serve some of their sentence while integrated in society subject to specific conditions. Parole promotes safety in the community by creating structured and supportive programs for offenders to return to society.

In the United States, there are different parole authorities in each state and a separate Federal board. In most cases, interested parties such as families of victims, are allowed to speak at parole hearings before a decision is made. In the United States, parole is supervised by parole officers, who the parolees must meet with regularly in addition to other conditions. There is no day parole as there is in Canada but there is a program called work release where trust worthy prisoners are allowed to work for certain companies during the day and return to prison at night.

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