If a person is convicted of a severe criminal offense, or they are facing prosecution having been convicted in the past, then the court may impose a sentence that includes jail time. During their time in jail, the behavior of an inmate will be monitored. Negative actions may lead to an extension of their sentence whereas good behavior could lead to the opposite.

There are occasions when the state reaches the conclusion that an inmate is fit for release before their full sentence has been served. However, this release (parole) typically comes with some conditions attached.

What are these conditions and what are the potential consequences if they are broken?

Major parole violations

Parole conditions are set to ensure that a previously convicted party falls in line with the social norms of wider society. Usually, those released on parole will have to check in regularly with a parole officer, to ensure that they are holding up their end of the bargain. There will be an expectancy for the relevant party not to engage in any form of criminal activity. They may also be asked to maintain a distance from anyone else who they have associated with in past criminal conduct. Breaking the law, failing drug tests and associating with known felons are some examples of major parole violations, and they could result in an individual being placed back in custody.

Minor violations

Not all parole violations are severe, and some may even be completely accidental. For instance, if public transport is your only means of being able to see your parole officer, and services are canceled for the day, this is out of your control. You may run a few minutes late for your appointment that day. Is it really fair to face a severe penalty for this?

Mistakes of the past shouldn’t be held against you indefinitely, and if you have been doing your best to abide by the law, you shouldn’t be penalized unfairly. If you have been accused of parole violations, make sure you fully assess your legal options.