Parole Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Parole, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Parole?

It refers to the release of the convicts who have already served certain portion of his/her sentence. The authority to make such a release considers the behaviour and the condition of such convict assuring that they are not a threat to the society and that they have now civilized to the extent of leading a normal life with others in society.They live under constant monitor of the authorities and are subject to frequent reporting to the parole officer who determines the conduct of the person.

History and Meaning of Parole

Parole is a legal term that dates back to the 19th century, originating in France as a way to relieve prison overcrowding. The term comes from the French word "parol," meaning "word of honor," as prisoners were released on their promise to behave well and follow certain conditions. In the United States, parole came into use around the turn of the 20th century as a way to incentivize prison rehabilitation by giving prisoners a chance to earn early release.

Today, parole is a conditional release from prison that allows convicted individuals to serve the remainder of their sentence outside of prison walls. The conditions of parole are set by a parole board or other authorized entity and may include regular meetings with a parole officer, abstaining from drugs and alcohol, getting a job, and staying within a certain geographic area. Parolees who fail to comply with these conditions can be returned to prison.

Examples of Parole

  1. John was granted parole after serving 7 years of a 10-year sentence for robbery. He must attend weekly meetings with his parole officer and comply with all conditions of his release or risk being sent back to prison.

  2. Maria is eligible for parole after serving 2 years of her 5-year sentence for drug possession. She has to find a job within 30 days of her release and attend drug counseling twice a week.

  3. The parole board denied Paul's request for early release, citing his history of violent behavior and failure to comply with previous parole conditions.

Legal Terms Similar to Parole

  1. Probation - a court-ordered release from custody that allows a person to remain in the community under supervision and certain conditions.

  2. Work release - a program that allows an inmate to leave prison during the day to work at a job in the community, returning to prison at night.

  3. Furlough - a temporary release from prison granted for a specific purpose, such as attending a funeral or visiting a sick family member.